voter turnout

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About 8 percent of Alabama's nearly 2.9 million voters participated in the runoff election.

Alabama's chief election official, Secretary of State Jim Bennett, says the turnout Tuesday was slightly higher than the 5 percent he had predicted. He says it was helped by higher turnouts for the 6th Congressional District race in the Birmingham area and by the state Senate District 30 race in the Prattville area

Bennett says there were no issues reported with voters having to show photo IDs at the polls. This was the second Alabama election where the photo ID law was used.

Voter turnout for Alabama's primary election Tuesday was much lower than four years ago.

Complete but unofficial returns from Tuesday's primary showed more than 613,000 people participated. That put the turnout at nearly 22 percent.

The turnout for the primary election four years ago was 32 percent, but both political parties had hot races for governor that year. The races for governor Tuesday were lopsided, with Republican incumbent Robert Bentley and Democrat Parker Griffith winning easily.

Numerous Alabama cities are holding municipal runoff elections, and the lines to vote likely won't be very long. Jacksonville State University political scientist and former congressman Glen Browder says such elections typically have a small turnout because few names are on the ballot. Retired University of Alabama political scientist Bill Stewart says voter fatigue also plays a role in the slim turnouts. Cities held runoff elections for mayor and city council statewide on Tuesday. In Birmingham, voters also decided bond issues totaling $150 million that would fund city projects.

About 22 percent of Alabama's voters turned out to approve a constitutional amendment withdrawing $437 million from a state trust fund to help balance the state General Fund budget for the next three years. Unofficial returns compiled by The Associated Press show about 600,000 of Alabama's 2.67 million voters participated in Tuesday's special election, and they approved the constitutional amendment 65 percent to 35 percent. The turnout was in line with the 20 to 21 percent predicted by Alabama's chief election official, Secretary of State Beth Chapman.

Election officials say the turnout for Alabama's single-issue election is light. Voters are deciding Tuesday whether to take $437 million out of a state trust fund to help balance the state General Fund budget for the next three years. Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen says the turnout in his south Alabama county could end up between 10 and 13 percent. Election officials in other counties say turnout picked up when the rain stopped, but it's still going to be small. Montgomery County is an exception. Elections Director Justin Aday said turnout could end up being 25 to 30 percent.