By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, March 1, over 867,000 voters came to the polls and voted in the Alabama Republican Primary shattering the previous GOP record.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said, “Tuesday saw a record-breaking day for the Alabama Republican Party when over 867,000 individuals voted in our primary. That number is an increase of 35 percent from the Republican primary vote of 2012. We are seeing this pattern across the nation as well. Our State saw a large number of new registered voters participate for the first time in our election. There is no doubt that the opportunity to take back our country from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s liberal agenda has the full attention of our citizens.”
Chairman Lathan continued, “While we are still in the process of choosing our presidential nominee, there is no doubt that our candidate, chosen directly by our voters, will be ready to win in November. With a highly motivated electorate who wants to leave the failed policies of the Obama administration behind us, the Republican Party stands ready to go into November 2016 with a strong team of engaged voters. Working together, we will defend our Alabama Republican races in November as we take back the White House.”
Lathan said, “I advise all Republicans to ignore the divisiveness of the liberal news media. We will not allow them to set our agenda or speak for us. Make no mistake; the Republican Party will join hands across our state and nation as we come together in November. America needs us now, and we will work for one ultimate goal – reversing the liberal policies of the Obama-Clinton regime.”
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) said, “1.2 million citizens participated in Alabama’s election on March 1. This is without a doubt the largest number our state has ever seen in a presidential primary. We attribute this enthusiastic response to the SEC Primary and the excitement that our people have demonstrated as the presidential candidates came to our state and interacted with our people. All of the major candidates had multiple visits to Alabama, interacted with our people on a personal level, and made sure that they got to know them, understanding their philosophies and ensuring that they would participate in the process.”
March 1, 2016, for the time in history the state of Alabama published election night results from all 67 counties in real-time.
Sec. Merrill said, “For the first time in the history of our state, all 67 counties committed to participate in electronic election night reporting. This launch would not have been possible without everyone’s full support and outstanding leadership demonstrated by our Probate Judges and local election officials!”
Merrill said that he was excited to announce that the Secretary of State’s office had 100 percent participation in election night reporting efforts. Merrill said that, “Due to inclement weather, there were unexpected delays for some counties, which resulted in minor reporting delays. However, our office was prepared and deployed staff accordingly to accommodate counties, seeing that their results were reported.”
Republican Primary participation was 867,235. The previous record was set in 2012 at 622,358. In 2008 that number was just 552,209. In 2004 only 219,137 participated. Part of the increase is due to moving the primary forward where it plays a much more pivotal role than it did in years past, part of is due to New York City billionaire and reality TV star Donald Trump’s unparalleled ability to motivate new voters to participate in the primaries, and part could be due to more and more Alabamians migrating to the Republican Party.
On the Democratic side 398,309 Alabamians voted in the Democratic Primary. This is up from 2012 when President Barack H. Obama had no primary opponent so only 234,004 Democrats voted; but is down from 2008 when 536,626 Democrats cast ballots in the Alabama Democratic Party Primary.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dominated the Democratic Primary in Alabama with a staggering 77.83 percent of the vote however her 310,022 actual votes trail Donald Trump’s 376,353 actual votes, which were only 43.4 percent of the GOP electorate in Alabama. Richard Shelby had 510,229 actual votes in his US Senate race, over 200,000 more actual supporters than Sec. Clinton had.
Sec. Merrill said, “We look forward to an exciting and engaged General Election in November!”