Absentee voting extended until Nov. 3 General Election

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTGOMERY – If you’re hoping to vote in the upcoming municipal or General elections in Shelby County but are concerned about COVID-19, Secretary of State John Merrill has extended the opportunity for anyone concerned to apply for and cast an absentee ballot.

Merrill made the announcement to extend absentee voting until the Nov. 3 General Election on Monday, July 20, which also included the municipal elections, which will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

“We have worked to provide safe, secure and free elections for the people of Alabama through offering an extended absentee voting period during the recent Primary Runoff Election, and we will continue to see that Alabamians have the opportunity to safely participate in the electoral process during these challenging times,” Merrill said.

“Amid coronavirus concerns, it is important to remember that Alabamians who are concerned about contracting or spreading an illness have the opportunity to avoid the polls on Election Day by casting an absentee ballot. Alabamians can access the application online or by visiting or calling their local Absentee Election Manager’s office.”

Voters are also able to contact the Secretary of State’s Office at (334) 242-7210 to request an absentee ballot application.

Any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their polling place shall be eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application that is most applicable to that individual.

State law allows the Secretary of State to issue absentee voting guidance during declared states of emergency, allowing Secretary Merrill to encourage voters to check the box which reads as follows (in the case none of the boxes are appropriate): “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]”

For the Aug. 25 municipal elections, the deadline to register to vote is Monday, Aug. 10, the deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is Thursday, Aug. 20, and the deadline to hand-deliver an absentee ballot is the close of business Monday, Aug.24. If an absentee ballot is returned by mail, it must be postmarked by Aug. 24 and received by noon on Aug. 25.

For the Nov. 3 General Election, the deadline to register to vote is Monday, Oct. 19, the deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is Thursday, Oct. 29, the deadline to return an absentee ballot to the Absentee Election Manager is the close of business Monday, Nov. 2, and the last day to postmark an absentee ballot is Monday, Nov. 2.

The option to vote in-person on Election Day will still be available for any voter who prefers to do so. Polling places will once again be equipped with personal protective equipment, sanitation supplies, and more based on the determination of the county.

In addition, the Office of the Secretary of State has created and shared multiple polling official training videos to assist in the education of poll workers. These videos were shared with the League of Municipalities who then distributed the videos among the appropriate municipalities. These videos were provided at no cost to the municipality or state, as the cost was paid for by our Office.

If necessary, municipal runoff elections would be held on Tuesday, Oct. 6.