Election Day is here, and it’s safe to say that this year’s election looks quite different than those of the past. As we continue to navigate the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, several protocols have been put in place nationwide to create cautious and healthy environments for in-person voting. A record-breaking number of Americans have already voted or plan to vote in the 2020 General Election, with over 75 million individuals having cast their ballots.
An estimated 4.9 million people live in the state of Alabama. In the 2020 March Primary Election, there was a total of 3,576,107 Alabamians registered to vote. Of those registered to vote, approximately 1,176,315 individuals – or 33 percent – actually exercised their right to vote in this year’s primary. On Thursday, the Alabama Secretary of State’s office announced that more than 259,200 Alabamians had voted by absentee, and Secretary of State John Merrill stated that 316,130 ballots had been requested.
While the final statewide voter turnout will not be known until after Tuesday’s election, it is vital we each take the time to exercise our right to vote as afforded to us by the U.S. Constitution. If you plan to vote in-person, please be sure to follow all local and statewide COVID-19 guidelines. Your participation is especially crucial as the number of daily new Coronavirus cases across the state are on the rise. For COVID-19 voting resources and information, visit sos.alabama.gov/covid-19-voting-resources.
The United States was founded on a strong set of principles that have shaped our nation and guided the American people for nearly 250 years. We will not allow a health pandemic to shake our democracy. We have been given the right to freely and openly express our beliefs and opinions, participate in civil public discourse, and vote to elect the individuals who lead our nation. If you have not already, I encourage you to exercise your right to vote and participate in the democratic process.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.