Rural Alabama town nearly doubles voter turnout despite no heat and water at ballot station: 'We’re surviving'
Heiberger, a small unincorporated community in rural Alabama, is experiencing a great voter turnout on Election Day, November 3, despite there being no water and heaters at the sole small polling station. There is nothing stopping the community, located at about 10 miles north of Marion in Perry County, from casting their votes this election. The community is best known for being the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife, civil rights leader Coretta Scott King.
The region generally sees about 50 voters in the election, but this year there have already been 90 votes cast so far, according to Connor Sheets, an investigative journalist, who shared the community's 2020 election tale on Twitter. "Here in rural Heiberger, Alabama, at one of the smallest polling places I’ve personally ever been to, there’ve been ~90 voters so far, up from the usual 50, says polling inspector Franco Crocker (pictured): 'We have a good turnout. I’m working here for the community, the country,'" Sheets shared.
Here in rural Heiberger, Alabama, at one of the smallest polling places I’ve personally ever been to, there’ve been ~90 voters so far, up from the usual 50, says polling inspector Franco Crocker (pictured): “We have a good turnout. I’m working here for the community, the country” pic.twitter.com/gspjSxXlgu— Connor Sheets (@ConnorASheets) November 3, 2020
The polling inspector added that although there is no water and heaters inside the polling station, the voters have continued to pour in. "There‘ve been no issues that stopped anyone from being able to vote," Crocker said. But he said Perry County officials were supposed to bring water and portable heaters but have yet to do so: "We don’t have any heat, as you can see. We don’t have any water. But we’re surviving."
Despite lacking in basic amenities to keep the voters comfortable, the Heiberger polling station has ensured that the measures for coronavirus prevention are properly executed. The station reported has plastic dividers to separate poll workers from voters, a mandatory face mask policy to enter the booth, and hand sanitizers are provided for people to use at the station.
One of the Heiberger residents who came to the station to cast his vote, 31-year-old Donovan Melton, told Sheets that he voted for Biden and Doug Jones (for the Alabama Senate seat). "It’s only so much a working person can take. We need change ... It’s the working people that run the world and we get the same treatment since the beginning of time and we get nothing off the backend," Melton said.
While another Heiberger voter, 58-year-old Darryl Bracknell, voted for Trump because he is "worried about this democratic socialism." Bracknell said: "I’m not really wanting that. And our 2nd Amendment rights, protecting them, and I don’t like this late-term abortion either." He added that he also supports the Republican because he believes "the economy's done so well" under his administration. "The stock market’s grown. My retirement’s grown. He’s brought jobs back to the U.S. And he’s not part of the establishment," the voter said.
Alabama, where polls opened at 7 am on Election Day, is reportedly witnessing long voter queues. Some areas in the state have reported traffic congestion as voters attempt to reach and get out of polling stations. The polls in the state are scheduled to close at 8 pm local time.