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Low turnout expected for special election



This week’s elections in central Alabama may have a not so special turnout.

General votes for the state Senate and House take place today. The districts up for grabs in the special elections include parts of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby counties. The areas’ previous representatives both moved on to different positions in the state.

Secretary of State John Merrill expects a low turnout. 

“Well, it’s been really, really low in every special election that we’ve had in this particular quadrennium," he said. "So, we would anticipate that it will continue to be low, and I would say somewhere between 5 and 8 percent.” 

Special elections occur when a seat is vacated before October 1. Vacancies after this date have their general votes on the typical November date.

Secretary Merrill said the public is more likely to turn out for November elections. 

“Typically, people that vote routinely in elections will always vote in special elections, but new voters and people that are not always regular voters typically do not participate when it comes to special votes,” he said. 

Specific polling locations for this week’s special elections can be found on the Secretary of State’s website. 

Libby Foster is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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