Alabama’s election winners and losers
Alabama Voters - Approximately 2.8 million votes were cast throughout Alabama in a relatively smooth process, according to Secretary of State John Merrill. The record turnout was counted faster than most states Wait times varied, but results were tabulated by the end of the night in all 67 counties.
Constitution Reform - After two failed attempts to remove racist language from the Alabama Constitution, Amendment 4 easily passed with two-thirds of Alabamians voting in favor of the measure. This gives the Legislature the ability to clean up invalid racist parts of the Constitution and consolidate and shorten the document. Critics had wrongly suggested the measure was a ploy to raise taxes, but Alabamians were able to rise above the misleading claims. All revisions made by the Legislature will go back to Alabamians for a vote around 2022.
Straight Ticket Voting- As one of only six states to give the option for straight ticket voting, more than half of Alabama’s voters—both Democrats and Republicans—bubbled in for their party. The ease of straight ticket voting is popular for both parties, but leads to voters quickly making their mark and moving on.
Democrats- With the defeat of Doug Jones, who observers pegged as one of the most electable statewide Democrats in years, Democrats have to go back to the drawing board and find a new blueprint to win in a red state. After outspending Tommy Tuberville nearly 4-to-1, Jones still fared only a few points better than Joe Biden who failed to clear 40 percent of the vote. Democrats also loss in all statewide races, and Terri Sewell remains the only Democrat in Alabama’s congressional delegation. One bright spot for Democrats: they have an infrastructure in place to support candidates with social media, advertising, and grassroots support that didn’t exist when Nancy Worley was the party chairman.
Opponents of Montgomery’s School Tax- We previously reported that Take Back Our Republic, run by former Trump operative Perry Hooper Jr., was sending mass texts to voters urging a no vote on Amendment 382. The measure easily passed with about 60 percent of Montgomery residents voting in favor after the community and Maxwell Air Force officials pointed out how critical the funding would be. The local amendment will provide about $30 million more a year to Montgomery schools and put it on par with other areas’ taxes for schools.
Voter Research- Polling often accounts for likely voters, individuals who frequently vote and have an established voting history. Missing from the data were infrequent and first-time voters. With a higher than normal voter turnout, there’s an opportunity for more Alabamians to be included in future voter research. While it’s helpful to predict effective messaging and the outcome of an election, it’s inadequate to identify the preferences and concerns of the whole electorate. It remains the duty and responsibility of all elected officials to learn how to represent all of us, those who voted for and against, in pursuit of a better Alabama.