Calm Before a Storm? Election Workers Prepare for Alabama’s Biggest Voter Turnout

The ballots are stacked, pens gathered, poll workers trained and rolls of “I Voted” stickers ready to go.

Election workers this weekend were taking a “deep breath before the plunge,” as Barry Stephenson, chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Registrars, described it. They’ve been working seven days a week since Labor Day to prepare for what could be historic turnout at the polls, he said.

The state has topped 3.3 million registered voters, Secretary of State John Merrill said last week, surpassing the state’s highest registration by 584,252 registered voters.

Likewise, Jefferson County has set a record for registered voters, with 456,000. Before this, the record was 435,000 for the 2012 election, when 302,000 people voted in the county. Stephenson said the county is expecting more than 300,000 voters to show up at the polls Tuesday.

In preparation, the Jefferson County has increased the number of precincts and added an extra 150 poll workers, bringing the total number to 1,900. There will be more voter sign-in books at the polls in an attempt to avoid long lines, but Stephenson warned, “It still may not be a quick process.” Read more.