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We're Going to Find Out Exactly How Many Alabamans Voted for Nick Saban

If the number of write-in votes exceeds the margin of victory, Alabama law requires that the write-ins get counted. That's exactly what happened here.

by Liam Daniel Pierce
Dec 13 2017, 3:31pm

Photo by Matt Bush—USA TODAY Sports

Hypothetically, Nick Saban could have secured Doug Jones's Senate victory last night. But before you Democrat-loving (or logical, pedophile-hating) 'Bama fans go rolling that Tide in celebration, know that this is entirely speculative. Because we don't know exactly how many people actually voted for Alabama's beloved (or elsewhere loathed) head football coach. And usually, we never would. But since this wild election was so close, we will.

Last night proved to be a huge victory for the Democratic party, as Doug Jones pulled off an upset electoral win against Republican Roy Moore, a man accused multiple times of engaging in sexual misconduct pertaining to underaged girls. This means that the GOP will have only one majority vote in the Senate, after Doug Jones takes U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions's vacant seat in January. It was the first Republican upset in Alabama, a deeply red state, in 25 years, largely owed to a huge turnout of black voters voting blue.

But here's where the voting numbers get interesting for another reason: the number of write-in votes was greater than Doug Jones's margin of victory over Roy Moore. You could argue that people were split between voting Democrat and voting for a non-pedophile, or you could argue that people just really liked another candidate. Perhaps Nick Saban? Sure, it sounds silly, but it would be preposterous to assume that Saban didn't get any votes—he reportedly received "dozens" of votes for president of the U.S. in 2012. So he'll likely get a batch this year for Alabama Senator too and we know at least one guy voted for him:

Under Alabama law, write-in votes are not generally counted, unless the number of write-ins exceeds the margin of victory of one candidate over another. Which, if you've been paying attention, is exactly what happened. Jones got 671,151 votes, Moore got 650,436, and there were 22,819 write-ins. (I'll let you do the math, but it's close.)

Here's the specific law, and here's the Alabama Secretary of State breaking it down for the layperson:

So it seems like we'll know whether or not Saban was the Democrats's savior in seven days time. Roll Tide.