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This past week there were two special elections in Alabama to elect new members of the Alabama House of Representatives. Considering that there are only 105 state representatives in our state, these were important elections for the state in addition to these two districts and their constituents.
Thus, it was disappointing that the turnout rate for voters in these two elections were both under 10 percent. Unfortunately it is not surprising to see the lack of turnout for elections outside of the presidential primaries and general elections like we will see in 2024. Yet, potential voters should appreciate that in a low turnout election that their vote becomes even more important.
In addition, Alabama state representatives hold a powerful role in our state and thus, who holds these seats are important to them. Hopefully we will see a more engaged electorate in the future to ensure we elect the best and brightest to hold public office in Alabama. With 2024 being a presidential year, Alabama voters will likely show up in higher proportions than other years as past elections have shown.
There is a difference in this year’s election in that the Alabama GOP changed its rules, and presidential delegates will no longer be selected by the Alabama voters. Rather, the state party executive committee will choose the delegates who will attend the Republican Party Convention next summer.
Alabama voters will still go to the polls to select their nominee for each party. With all of the turmoil in Washington, D.C., you can bet there will be an even larger turnout next year than normal. In addition, there will be plenty of candidates on the ballot for voters to consider, including those running for the Alabama Public Service Commission, State Board of Education, state judges, and circuit clerks. Plus, all of the U.S. Congressional seats in Alabama are open, and there will be a number of contested elections, including a new created district.
Qualifying ends on Friday, November 10. Thus, there will be a lot to watch for the next couple of weeks as candidates start their campaigns in earnest for the upcoming elections. So get ready for the marathon run up to the spring party primaries and general elections in the fall of 2024.
Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives and can be found on X (formerly Twitter) at @Paul_DeMarco.