Turnout for the May 23 primary election was 23%, which was a disappointing number for some, given the ticket was led by two high-profile races, the U.S. Senate and the gubernatorial Republican primaries.

It also fell short of the 28-32% projection that Secretary of State John Merrill made in early May before the primary.

During Friday's broadcast of Alabama Public Television's "Capitol Journal," Merrill said he anticipates an even lower turnout for the June 21 runoff, which features several marquee statewide contests, including an election for the Republican U.S. Senate nominee between former Business Council of Alabama President and CEO Katie Britt and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville).

"[O]ur numbers in 2010 percentage-wise, participation was higher than it was," Merrill explained. "Also, in 2014, it was higher, 2018 it was higher with a percentage. But, with actual votes, they were somewhat comparable. When you're looking at the runoff, some of those races that you were just talking about -- in 2012, we had 4% in the runoff. In 2016, we had 8%. [In] 2014, we had 11%. So when you're looking at the numbers and the way things are, 10 to 15% is what I'm projecting, and that's a small margin for people coming back out, which means anything can happen. It just depends on who can get their voters out."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.

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