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A spirit that is not afraid

Alabama Republicans sweep midterm elections

As “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest rang out across the ballroom floor at Katie Britt’s watch party just before the polls closed at 7 p.m., it would foreshadow a clean sweep by Republicans in races up and down the ballot in Alabama.

While much of the country waited throughout the night for results to be updated and races to be called, such was not the case in the Yellowhammer State as statewide races were called soon after voting officially ended.

Incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey, R, was projected to win by The Associated Press as soon as votes started to come in. With 88% reporting, Ivey holds a nearly 37% lead over challenger Yolanda Flowers, D.

Ivey will be serving her second full term as governor with Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, R, who currently holds a 68% lead over his challenger Ruth Page-Nelson, D.

For Sen. Richard Shelby’s U.S. Senate seat, Katie Britt, R, and Will Boyd, D, faced off. Like Ivey, the AP projected Britt as the winner early in the night. With 88% reporting, Britt currently holds a 36% lead over Boyd.

Alabama’s District 3 U.S. Congressional seat was filled once again by incumbent Mike Rogers, R, who easily defeated Democratic challenger Lin Veasey, D. Having nearly all votes counted, Rogers has a 46% lead over Veasey.

Incumbent Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, R, retained his position after a challenge from Wendell Major, D. Marshall currently holds a 36% lead over Major.

Vying for a vacancy for Alabama Secretary of State, Wes Allen, R, defeated Pamela Laffitte, D, by a 35% margin.

Closer to home, former Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey, R, ran against Sherri Reese, D, for Alabama’s District 27 State Senate seat. At the moment, Hovey has a 40% lead over Reese and is projected to replace incumbent Thomas Whatley, R.

Alabamians also voted on 10 amendments to the state constitution, as well as a proposition to adopt a new state constitution.

Amendment I, commonly referred to as Aniah's Law, is projected to pass with 81% approval with 78% reporting. With the passage of Amendment I, prosecutors and judges will now have more discretion in requesting and denying bail to those accused of committing violent crimes, particularly if they have a history of committing such crimes. 

Other notable ballot measures that are projected to pass are Amendment II, which supports an expansion of broadband infrastructure, as well as Amendment X, which will allow all amendments that were passed in this election to be adopted into the state's new constitution.

In a state that rarely deviates from its established political path, there were several notable firsts Tuesday night provided by Senator-elect Britt.

During her victory speech, she made sure to point out that she was the first female Senator elected in the state of Alabama, the youngest female Republican Senator in history and the only female Republican Senator with school-age children.

"Now I don't take any of these things for granted, and the gravity of all of it is not lost on me," Britt said. "I am humbled, I am honored and grateful. I want you to know I understand what a tremendous responsibility these milestones carry and I do not take that lightly."

Yet there was another milestone Tuesday's election reached that was not as illustrious: according to the Alabama Secretary of State's website, the 2022 midterms had the worst turnout of any general election in at least 36 years.

Despite the parking lots of Auburn-area voting locations being mostly full throughout the morning, that lackluster turnout throughout the state set the tone for what was ultimately one of the more lopsided elections recently, even for Alabama.

At the Boykin Community Center, voters made their feelings known about the importance of participating in democracy despite living in a time when even the voting process has become a partisan affair.

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"It's important to vote for whoever is running, that's a privilege that we have so we need to get out and vote, everybody: black, white, blue or green," Ruth Stays said.

For some, the simple fact that they are able to freely vote is something they did not take for granted in a state that actively prevented Black voters from casting ballots in the past.

"Voting is essential, so therefore whenever there is a possibility for people to vote, because at one time there was not voting for us, so now it's a privilege and I think we should use it," Adella Dowdell said.

Daniel Schmidt | Assistant News Editor

Daniel Schmidt, senior in journalism, is the assistant news editor for the Auburn Plainsman. 

Tucker Massey | Content Editor

Tucker Massey, junior in journalism, is the content editor for The Auburn Plainsman.

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