In 2018, more than 1.7 million registered voters participated in that year's midterm elections in Alabama.
Secretary of State John Merrill anticipates at least that many voters will turn out for this year's midterm elections on November 8.
During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "Mobile Mornings" on Tuesday, Merrill noted that election participation records had been broken throughout his tenure.
However, this year's primary and runoff elections were exceptions to the trend. Merrill told co-hosts Dan Brennan and Dalton Orwig that he still expected a big number for November 8.
"We have broken every record in the history of the state for voter participation as well as voter registration since I've been the secretary," Merrill said. "Every time we have another election – a primary, a runoff, we broke the record until May 24. We did not break the primary turnout record that we had set previously in 2018. But I can tell you we did break the general election record for a gubernatorial cycle in 2018 with 1.7 million Alabamians going to the polls.
"Now, I anticipate that record again. As y'all know, we've made a concerted effort to ensure each and every U.S. citizen of Alabama that is registered to vote has a photo ID. Since January 19 of '15, which I told you while ago was seven years, eight months, and a day ago, we've registered 2,132,525 new voters. Now we have 3,673,969 registered voters. So, I anticipated that we're going to be around 1.7 to 1.8 [million] in turnout."
Merrill explained how he arrived at his calculation, noting his one big miss came in the 2017 U.S. Senate special election.
"But what I do, Dan, is I sit down and look at previous races, previous cycles and see who the candidates were, what was happening in those races and then determine what the projected turnout," Merrill added. "I've only missed it within my range just one time, and that was back when Doug Jones and Roy Moore were running, and that was in the general. But I did not anticipate, Dalton, there were 41 consecutive days of national media in our state. They were also promoting what was going on that's the reason my turnout projection was off."
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.
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