SMITHS STATION, Ala. — Alabama voters are sounding off on the issues that matter most to them during Tuesday’s special election. The election for Alabama’s next U.S. Senator comes after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions vacated his senate seat once appointed by President Donald Trump.
Former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange was appointed to replace Sessions in the interim. Strange has since earned the endorsement of several politicians, including President Trump. While voter turnout is notoriously low for special elections, News 3 found steady turnout at the Smiths Station precinct. The elections supervisor at the poll location said she did not expect as many voters to cast their ballots.
News 3 spoke with a few voters about their motivation to go to the polls. Many understand the significance of the special election and want to make an impact on Congress. Many voters believe the next senator to represent the state of Alabama should hope to address healthcare, tax reform, and bridging the divide not only in Congress, but in the country as well.
“We need the healthcare bill,” Republican voter Brad Word said. “We need that settled for the peace of our country.”
Word’s wife Michelle also voted on the GOP ballot.
“Both parties, both sides of the aisle need to come together,” Michelle Word said. “It needs to quit being an us versus them thing.”
Some voters were caught a bit off guard by the number of candidates on the ballot. Ten people filled out the GOP ballot, while the Democratic ballot held eight candidates. Democratic voter Elaine Moffett believes Washington needs change. But in her opinion, a relatively inexperienced president needs help.
“You want to vote for the right person,” Moffett said. “Too many people died for us to have the right to vote. He doesn’t know what’s going on. He’s never been in any kind of political position before. So he needs some help. He’s in a beehive. It’s a hornet’s nest, and he’s stirring those darn things up.”
Moffett says the next senator representing Alabama in Congress needs to focus on getting things done, rather than getting caught up in gridlock.
“I’m hoping they can make some changes,” Moffett said. “I mean, steer some of the people in the right direction.”
Early estimates are that only 20% to 25% of registered voters cast their ballots in Tuesday’s special election.