55% of the Alabama Legislature is on Twitter

Twitter computer phone

Years ago, a lawmaker’s official website used to be sole clearinghouse for information — functioning as hub of schedule updates, press releases, contact information, and more. While those websites aren’t going anywhere any time soon, gone are the days where they’re the only platform lawmakers use to communicate with constituents.

But with the advent of social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, to name but a few — it’s become increasingly important for members to take the extra effort to engage more directly, and frequently with those who put them in office.

In 2016, 78 percent of Americans had at least one social media profile, making a strong argument that if lawmakers want to continue to be re-elected they should go where the people are — online.

Which is why Alabama Today wanted to see just how many Alabama lawmakers have a social media presence on Twitter — a digital platform where users “tweet” 140-character messages to the world, and one another.

In our research, we found that 55 percent of the current 135 member Legislature is on Twitter. To break it down further, we found 77 percent of the Senate is on Twitter, while on 47 percent of the House has jumped on the platform. Further still, the make-up of the Alabama Legislature on Twitter is 56 percent Republicans and 49 percent Democrats.

But merely having an account on Twitter by no means the users are active. We discovered the vast majority of Alabama lawmakers on the platform only used to first get elected, and that most accounts are years out of date, like Rep. Thad McClammy who’s not tweeted since 2009, or Sen. Rodger Smitherman who’s not tweeted since 2010.

While others, like Sen. J.T. Waggoner (R-AL-16) and Rep. April Weaver seem to have missed the entire point of being a public official with a Twitter account in the first place — to communicate with constituents — and have their accounts hidden behind privacy filters.

Then there’s the smallest population of users, like RepublicanRep. Victor Gaston and Democrat Rep. Barbara Boyd  who have created accounts, but have never actually tweeted from.

Take a look at our findings:

Alabama State Senate

Alabama State House of Representatives

  • Rep. Will Ainsworth (R-AL-27): @WillAinsworth27
  • Rep. Louise Alexander (D-AL-56): N/A
  • Rep. Alan Baker (R-AL-66): N/A
  • Rep. Mike Ball (R-AL-10): N/A
  • Rep. George Bandy (D-AL-83): N/A
  • Rep. Paul Beckman (R-AL-88): @RepPaulBeckman
  • Rep. Elaine Beech (D-AL-65): N/A
  • Rep. Marcel Black (D-AL-3): @marcel_black42
  • Rep. Chris Blackshear (R-AL-80): @chrisblackshear
  • Rep. Alan Boothe (R-AL-89): N/A
  • Rep. Barbara Boyd  (D-AL-32): @131Babs (never Tweeted)
  • Rep. Napoleon Bracy (D-AL-98): @hiphopstaterep
  • Rep. K.L. Brown (R-AL-40): @RepKLBrown
  • Rep. James Buskey (D-AL-99): N/A
  • Rep. Mack Butler (R-AL-30): @RepMackButler
  • Rep. Jim Carns (R-AL-48): @JimCarns
  • Rep. Donnie Chesteen (R-AL-87): @DonnieChesteen
  • Rep. Adline Clarke (D-AL-97): N/A
  • Rep. Steve Clouse (R-AL-93): @RepSteveClouse
  • Rep. Merika Coleman-Evans (D-AL-57): N/A
  • Rep. Terri Collins (R-AL-8): @RepTerriCollins
  • Rep. Danny Crawford (R-AL-5): N/A
  • Rep. Anthony Daniels (D-AL-53): @anthonydaniels
  • Rep. Randy Davis (R-AL-96): N/A
  • Rep. Dickie Drake (R-AL-45): N/A
  • Rep. Barbara Drummond (D-AL-103): @Drummond103
  • Rep. Christopher England (D-AL-70): @RepEngland70
  • Rep. Allen Farley (R-AL-15): @RepAllenFarley
  • Rep. David Faulkner (R-AL-46): @RepFaulkner
  • Rep. Joe Faust (R-AL-94): N/A
  • Rep. Bob Fincher (R-AL-37): N/A
  • Rep. Craig Ford (D-AL-28): @RepCraigFord
  • Rep. Berry Forte (D-AL-84): N/A
  • Rep. Matt Fridy (R-AL-73): @MattFridy
  • Rep. Danny Garrett (R-AL-44): @DannyGarrett44
  • Rep. Victor Gaston (R-AL-100): @VictorGastonAL (never Tweeted)
  • Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-AL-60): @RepJuandaGivan
  • Rep. Lynn Greer (R-AL-2): N/A
  • Rep. Dexter Grimsley (D-AL-85): N/A
  • Rep. Laura Hall (D-AL-19): @RepLauraHall
  • Rep. Micky Hammon (R-AL-4): @RepMickyHammon
  • Rep. James Hanes (R-AL-23): N/A
  • Rep. Corey Harbison (R-AL-12): N/A
  • Rep. Alan Harper (R-AL-61): N/A
  • Rep. Ed Henry (R-AL-9): @Ed_Henry_HD9
  • Rep. Jim Hill (R-AL-50): N/A
  • Rep. Alvin Holmes (D-AL-78): N/A
  • Rep. Mike Holmes (R-AL-31): N/A
  • Rep. Ralph Howard (D-AL-72): N/A
  • Rep. Steve Hurst (R-AL-35): N/A
  • Rep. Reed Ingram (R-AL-75): N/A
  • Rep. Thomas Jackson (D-AL-68): N/A
  • Rep. Ken Johnson (R-AL-7): @KenCJohnson
  • Rep. Ronald Johnson (R-AL-33): N/A
  • Rep. Mike Jones (R-AL-92): N/A
  • Rep. John Knight (D-AL-77): @alrep77
  • Rep. Kelvin Lawrence (D-AL-69): @Lawrencekj
  • Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-AL-24): @RepLedbetter24
  • Rep. Paul Lee (R-AL-86): N/A
  • Rep. Richard Lindsey (D-AL-39): N/A
  • Rep. James Martin (R-AL-42): N/A
  • Rep. Artis McCampbell (D-AL-71): N/A
  • Rep. Thad McClammy (D-AL-76): @thadmcclammy
  • Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R-AL-25): @MacDistrict25
  • Rep. Stephen McMillan (R-AL-95): @RepMcMillan
  • Rep. Mike Millican (R-AL-17): N/A
  • Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-AL-43): @Arnoldfor43
  • Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL-91): @RepBarryMoore
  • Rep. Mary Moore (D-AL-59): N/A
  • Rep. Johnny Morrow (D-AL-18): N/A
  • Rep. Becky Nordgren (R-AL-29): @RepBeckNordgren
  • Rep. Jim Patterson (R-AL-21): N/A
  • Rep. Phil Pettus (R-AL-1): N/A
  • Rep. Dimitri Polizos (R-AL-74): N/A
  • Rep. Bill Poole (R-AL-63): @GoBillPoole
  • Rep. Chris Pringle (R-AL-101): @ChrisPringle101
  • Rep. Kerry Rich (R-AL-26): N/A
  • Rep. John Rogers (D-AL-52): N/A
  • Rep. Connie Rowe (R-AL-13th): @rowe_reprowe13
  • Rep. Howard Sanderford (R-AL-20): N/A
  • Rep. Roderick Scott (D-AL-55): N/A
  • Rep. Chris Sells (R-AL-90): N/A
  • Rep. David Sessions (R-AL-105): N/A
  • Rep. Randall Shedd (R-AL-11th): N/A
  • Rep. Harry Shiver (R-AL-64): N/A
  • Rep. Kyle South (R-AL-16): @RepSouth16
  • Rep. David Standridge (R-AL-34): @JudgeStandridge
  • Rep. Patricia Todd (D-AL-54): @RepTodd
  • Rep. Allen Treadaway (R-AL-51): N/A
  • Rep. Mark Tuggle (R-AL-81): @MarkMTuggle
  • Rep. Tim Wadsworth (R-AL-14): @AlabamaLaw
  • Rep. Pebblin Warren (D-AL-82): N/A
  • Rep. April Weaver (R-AL-49): @aprilcweaver (protected account)
  • Rep. Isaac Whorton (R-AL-38): N/A
  • Rep. Ritchie Whorton (R-AL-22): N/A
  • Rep. Margie Wilcox (R-AL-104): N/A
  • Rep. Jack Williams (R-AL-102): @AlabamaWilliams
  • Rep. Jack Williams (R-AL-47): @RepJack
  • Rep. Phillip Williams (R-AL-6): : @PhilHouse44
  • Rep. Rich Wingo (R-AL-62): N/A
  • Rep. Randy Wood (R-AL-36): N/A