ALABAMA (WHNT) — Tuesday’s election saw Governor Kay Ivey win a second full term and political newcomer Katie Britt win the U.S. Senate seat held by Richard Shelby for the last 36 years.
However, both of those races and rest of Tuesday’s slate was decided by fewer than 40% of Alabama’s registered voters.
According to the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office, turnout was projected to be between 40% and 50% for Tuesday’s election. As of Wednesday morning, turnout was 38.5%.
The Secretary of State’s Office says that figure could reach 40% once provisional and military ballots are counted, but that’s still a fairly small fraction of the electorate. In raw terms, about 28% of Alabama’s population decided the election.
Looking at some of the numbers from past elections provided more clarity for low turnout in Alabama.
In 2010, the state had 2.58 million registered voters and turnout was 57.5%. On Tuesday, Alabama had 3.68 million registered voters, but turnout was only 38.5%.
From 2010 to 2022, Alabama saw a 42% gain in registered voters, but compared to 12 years ago, this year saw 700,000 fewer votes cast. That’s a decline of 4.7% at a time with a million more potential voters.