HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A week out from the Alabama U.S Senate election and candidates are campaigning harder than ever. But, Secretary of State John Merrill told WHNT News 19 on Tuesday that he projects voter turnout to be between 20%-25%.
Candidates Roy Moore and Doug Jones have run very different campaigns. Jones tends to favor campaign stops at fish fry's or tailgating at the Iron Bowl. Places where he talks to women, and college students in Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery, and discuss what he calls "kitchen table" issues.
Moore, on the other hand, leans toward making stops at churches, farms, and event centers. He targets evangelicals, where most recently he speaks literally from the pulpit.
But according to non-partisan organization Vote.org, there's a key demographic missing. 29% of Alabama voters are minorities. "Both Republicans and Democrats tend to ignore a voting block that is one out of three Alabama voters, and if you're trying to increase voter turnout you need to reach out to people who are less likely to vote," said Vote.org CEO Debra Cleaver.
Cleaver said that's one reason why voter turnout projections could be so low. "I think people know intuitively that their vote matters, but no one is really reaching out to them. Nothing reinforces the idea more than people actually talking to you."
That's why Vote.org is starting a huge push to get them to the polls on December 12th. But the Senate campaigns spend most of their money on TV ads, which Cleaver said is a mistake.
"You can use billboards to reach people that don't see TV ads, and Pandora is another good way to reach young voters, text message is a good way to reach young voters. You can't reach young people using TV ads," she said.
Polls open at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 12th. You can find your polling place here.