CULLMAN – By state policy, staff at the Cullman County Probate Office counted provisional ballots on Tuesday, one week after the election, arriving at a final vote tally for the county.
Provisional ballots are cast by voters whose names are not on the roll at the polling place where they go to vote. They may be at the wrong polling place, their names may have been removed from the roll by the state for some reason or they might have been excluded by accident. On the Tuesday following the election, the handful of provisional ballots are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and, if they are found to be valid, are added to the overall vote count.
In the 2018 election, only 21 provisional ballots were validated and added, still slightly above the “normal” number in the teens. Probate Judge Tammy Brown told The Tribune that provisional ballots have never affected the outcome of an election in Cullman County during her tenure in the Probate Office.
The overall vote count report yields quite a few facts:
- Cullman County had 58,207 voters registered for the 2018 election.
- Of those registered voters, 28,826, or 49.5 percent, voted. Voter turnout in midterm elections is usually low; this percentage is actually fairly high, reflecting patterns across the country. Statewide voter turnout during the 2014 midterm election was 39.8 percent; Cullman County turned out just over 40 percent.
- 17,258 voted a straight Republican ticket, while 1,914 voted a straight Democratic ticket.
- Governor: 24,361 for Kay Ivey, 4,309 for Walt Maddox, 43 write-ins, 103 abstained
- Lt. Governor: 24,892 for Will Ainsworth, 3,641 for Will Boyd, 13 write-ins, 270 abstained
- U.S. Representative, 4th District: 25,245 for Robert Aderholt, 3,359 for Lee Auman, 20 write-ins, 199 abstained
- No Republican candidate was opposed for state legislative or area judicial seats, but all vote counts included write-ins for other candidates (not named) and abstentions.
- In the only contested local race, Republican Jeremy Kilpatrick received 22,569 votes for coroner. Gary Murphree received 5,877, the highest number of votes cast for any Democratic Party candidate running for any office on the county ballot.
- Constitutional amendments:
- 1 (“Ten Commandments”) – Yes 23,654; No 3,301
- 2 (“Sanctity of Life”) – Yes 21,115; No 5,727
- 3 (University of Alabama trustees) – Yes 15,639; No 7,711
- 4 (Legislative vacancies) – Yes 19,887; No 5,397
- Local amendment 1 (Sheriff’s food bill) – Yes 23,112; No 3,309
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