Alabaster records about 23 percent voter turnout

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Although Alabaster’s voting percentage was slightly higher this year than it was in 2008, city officials still said Aug. 28 brought a “horrible” voter turnout for the municipal elections.

Of the about 18,000 registered voters in Alabaster, 4,098, or about 23 percent, turned out for the Aug. 28 election, said Alabaster City Clerk Marsha Massey.

“It was horrible, honestly,” Massey said of the turnout numbers, noting Alabaster has a population of more than 30,000. “According to law, you’ve got to buy election supplies based on your number of registered voters. That’s a lot of taxpayer dollars spent for people to not show up.”

However, Massey said the polls were “steady” throughout the day and turnout numbers were up slightly from the city’s 2008 municipal election, which drew about 18 percent of the city’s registered voters. Massey said this year’s numbers may have been low because only the mayor’s seat and the Ward 3 City Council seat were contested.

Alabaster’s voters will have a chance to hit the polls again in a few months, as incumbent Mayor David Frings and candidate Marty Handlon will enter a runoff race on Oct. 9.

During the Aug. 28 election, neither candidate was able to gain the necessary majority to win the race outright, as Frings gathered 44.45 percent of the vote and Handlon secured 47.29 percent. The third mayoral candidate, Kevin Brand, gathered 8.26 percent of the mayoral votes.

The runoff election will be held on Oct. 9 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Shelby County Instructional Services Center off U.S. 31.