Special election in Alabama brings many to the polls

(WTVM) - A special election held Tuesday in Alabama had many residents rushing to the polls.

The election is a one-issue referendum put on the ballot by the legislature that would authorize the transfer of $437.4 million from an oil and gas trust fund to the General Fund for the state Medicaid budget.

"I believe that this vote is very crucial to our state and it will impact every single one of us so I believe it's very important to come out and vote today," expressed Opelika voter, Amelia Stehauwer

Election officials expected a low voter turnout on Tuesday; however, the importance of the issues kept a steady stream of voters at the polls in Opelika.

"It's our right to vote, that way we have a choice and that why I'm here today to stand up for my right," explains Opelika resident, Shirley Dennison.

Medicaid cuts and monetary cuts to other state agencies is feared by state officials if the referendum is not passed.

"It should be something that is important to us. Do we want the money to take care of our general fund and or education," asked Opelika voter, Annette Hardy.

There are pros and cons to the issue and officials believed the outcome of the vote will have a direct impact on Lee County.

"It's important to have something that can back us up and besides that you're an American, you're supposed to go vote," explains Hardy.

Alabama voters decided by a 2 to 1 margin to support the withdrawal of $437 million from a state trust fund to help balance the General Fund budget for the next three years.

The vote was 65% for and 35% against, with 88 percent of the precincts voting.

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