HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Alabama voters surged to the polls Tuesday, blowing through turnout estimates of 20 to 25 percent, to exceed well over 1 million votes cast, about 38 percent of the state’s registered voters.
Turnout expectations were shaped by the fact that for most of Alabama the U.S. Senate special election between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore was the only race on the ballot. And, turnout for both the primary and runoff saw the vast majority of Alabama voters stay home.
But that wasn’t the case Tuesday, as Democratic voters surged giving Jones a hard-fought win over Moore in a solidly Republican state.
Moore’s advantage was expected to be a core group of supporters who would always turn out for him, but Jones managed to energize Democrats and, compared to the 2016 Presidential election totals for President Trump, a lot of Republicans stayed home.
The Associated Press called it for Jones at about 9:25 p.m., with Jones having received more than 586,000 votes to Moore’s 574,000.
Put another way, a 25 percent turnout, including active and inactive registered voters would have meant 825,000 votes cast.
With votes still to be counted, 1.16 million were cast for the two major party candidates and another 18,000 were cast for a write-in candidate.
Madison County’s voter turnout exceeded 45 percent, with Jones receiving 65,664 votes to Moore’s 46,313.