Absentee voting in Shelby County: Deadlines and other important details

Shelby County has seen a drastic increase in absentee voting ahead of the 2020 General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 3, but time is running out to return absentee ballots.

As of Wednesday, Oct. 28, 15,986 ballots had been given out by mail and in person, and 12,931 ballots had been returned by mail and in person, according to Shelby County Probate Judge Allison Boyd.

By comparison, a total of 3,826 absentee ballots were cast in Shelby County in the 2016 General Election, 3,407 were cast in 2012 and 3,845 were cast in 2008.

“Yesterday, 896 people voted absentee in person,” Boyd said on Oct. 28. “Today we had just over 1,200 vote absentee in person.”

This year, Alabama voters were able to request to vote absentee if they were concerned about contracting or spreading COVID-19.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot in order to vote absentee in Shelby County was Thursday, Oct. 29.

Voted absentee ballots may be returned in person by the person whose name appears on the ballot at the Shelby County Absentee Voting Office, located in the Shelby County Exhibition Center at 86 Argo Road in Columbiana. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The last day to hand-deliver or postmark an absentee ballot for the General Election is Monday, Nov. 2.

Ballots must be received in person by the close of business Monday, Nov. 2.

Ballots also may be returned by mail to: Absentee Election Manager, P.O. Box 1036, Columbiana, Alabama 35051.

Ballots returned by mail must be received by noon Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Absentee applications and ballots returned by mail will be accepted only if they are returned one per envelope.

Absentee ballots will not be counted until Election Day, but the process will start earlier than normal that day, Boyd said.

“This year, the governor has given us the ability to start counting at 7 a.m. that day,” she said.

For more information regarding absentee voting and the election, visit:

  • The Alabama Secretary of State’s website at Sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes.
  • Board of Registrars website at Shelbyal.com/205/Board-of-Registrars.
  • Shelby County Probate Judge website at Shelbyal.com/285/Probate-Court.
  • Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at Shelbyso.com.

Boyd praised county staff, volunteer workers and Absentee Election Manager Pam Henry for their hard work to keep the absentee voting process running as smoothly as possible, even after inclement weather in the early morning hours of Oct. 29 led to power outages.

“Every department in Shelby County helped in getting us up and running,” Boyd said in a phone interview at about 11:30 a.m. Oct. 29. “It’s amazing. I’m so proud of all of them. We are voting, and everybody is so excited they’re able to vote today.”

Volunteer Johnny King echoed Boyd’s comments regarding the work happening behind-the-scenes to keep the process moving.

“I am so proud to be a Shelby County citizen and a volunteer,” King said. “Whatever I can do to help is my goal.”