(AL.com) — Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said early projections for today's race puts turnout at around 25 percent, translating to more votes to count and the possibility it will take longer to do so.
Merrill said heavy turnout does not necessarily benefit one candidate over the other, however.
"I'm hearing that the turnout in certain areas that might benefit Doug Jones are complemented by heavy turnout in other areas, in some rural parts of the state that would probably complement Judge Moore. So, I think that's going to balance itself out if that trend continues," Merrill said.
Write-in votes are also expected to increase in this election. That shouldn't slow tonight's results down, however.
The Alabama Legislature passed a law in 2016 so that write-in votes are not counted on election day. The law stipulates that write-in votes for a particular contest are not counted unless the total number of write-in votes is greater than the difference in the number of votes received by the first place and second place candidates.
If that takes place, write-in votes are counted on the seventh day after the election. If the number of write-ins doesn't mean that threshold, they are not counted.