Low voter turnout for Alabama primary election - WRBL

Low voter turnout for Alabama primary election

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Russell County Courthouse Annex Russell County Courthouse Annex
Campaigners outnumber voters at Ladonia Volunteer Fire Dept. Campaigners outnumber voters at Ladonia Volunteer Fire Dept.
Campaigners wait to hand out flyers to voters Campaigners wait to hand out flyers to voters
PHENIX CITY, Ala. - The Russell County probate judge says he expected about a 25% voter turnout for Alabama's primary Election Day, but less showed up to the polls.

Probate Judge Alford Harden made his rounds for Election Day, but instead of greeting lots of voters, he ended up talking to more campaigners. He says, "I always tour all the polls every election cycle to make sure the voters are being treated like they should be treated and make sure the polls are running like they should be running."

With new electronic voting machines across the state and other technological advances, Harden says the polls are running more smoothly than in years past. "We've now got iPads in all the voting places so it's very easy to look up where someone is supposed to vote if they happen to be in the wrong place," he says. "They seem to like the new machines, it's easier to open the polls. We'll see what it's like when they close the polls with the new machines."

The few people casting their ballots made the volunteers' job even easier. In many locations, there were more campaigners than voters.

At the Spencer Rec Center, the campaigners were out in full force. The biggest race there was the Circuit Court Judge. On one side of the entrance, David Johnson's supporters set up a tent, and on the other side, his opposing candidate April Logan-Russell was there with her supporters.

The campaigners say they're surprised to have no one to give pamphlets or campaign spiels. Annie Foster spent the day campaigning for Ronnie Reed outside the Russell County Courthouse Annex. She says, "It usually be a long line, it usually be more, I'd say about 200-300 people." But she says she probably saw less than 100.

Harden also says there were not many absentee ballots. Only about 85 to 90 people voted that way.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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