By B.A. Little, Reporter • firstname.lastname@example.org
JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. — Jackson County voters may begin absentee voting on Tuesday, January 21.
“We will be giving the public the opportunity to come into the Circuit Clerk’s Office to cast their vote by absentee ballot starting Tuesday, January 21, 2020,” said Jackson County Circuit Clerk Bart Buchanan. “They will be able to come into the office and request their absentee application, fill it out and present their identification to receive their ballot and vote.”
“When mailing in the application please make sure you read the yellow paper with the instructions on them. The two most common mistakes people make with the absentee application is not checking the box of what party they are voting for and husband and wife putting both applications in the same envelope to mail back to the Absentee Election Manager,” he continued. “Both applications must be mailed separately.”
If you have any questions please call the Circuit Clerk’s Office at (256)573-9320 or Circuit Clerk, Bart Buchanan at (256)574-9380.
Qualified voters can apply for an absentee ballot that can be cast by mail, commercial carrier or in person at the absentee election manager’s office if he or she makes an application in writing not less than five days prior to the election and meets one of the following requirements:
- The voter expects to be out of the county or state on Election Day,
- The voter has any physical illness or infirmity which prevents his or her attendance at the polls, whether he or she is within or without the county on the day of the election.
- The voter expects to work a shift that has at least 10 hours which coincide with the hours the polls are open at his or her regular polling place.
- The voter is enrolled as a student at an educational institution located outside the county of his or her personal residence (attendance) at which prevents his or her attendance at the polls.
- The voter is a member of, or spouse or dependent of a member of, the armed forces of the United States or is similarly qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff.
- The voter has been appointed as an election officer or named as a poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place.
- The voter is a caregiver for a family member to the second degree of kinship who is confined to their home.
- The voter is incarcerated in prison or jail but has not been disqualified by the conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude as defined by T17-3-30.1
Absentee applications are available at the Absentee Election Managers Office or online at www.alabamavotes.gov.
Under ACT 2019-507, absentee ballot applications must now be accompanied by a copy of current, valid photo identification, unless the voter is exempt from the identification requirement. Falling to provide the identification will result in your ballot becoming a provisional ballot.
MEDICAL EMERGENCY: Any registered elector who requires emergency treatment of a licensed physician within 5 days of an election may apply for an emergency absentee ballot for the election and may vote by returning the absentee ballot no later than noon on the day the election is held. The attendant physician shall describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency on a special form designed by the Secretary of State and provided by his or her office to local absentee election managers. The special form shall be attached to the application.
BUSINESS EMERGENCY: Any registered voter whose name appears on the poll list of voters may vote by an emergency absentee ballot if he or she is required by his or her employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on an emergency business trip on Election Day. The voter shall apply for an emergency absentee ballot at the office of the absentee election manager no later than the close of the business day one day prior to the election. The applicant shall complete and file an application form for emergency absentee voters. The form shall contain an affidavit which the applicant shall sign or swear acknowledging that he or she was not aware of the out-of-county business requirement prior to five days before the election.
Applications for absentee voting are available:
- Absentee election manager’s office (Jackson County Circuit Clerk Bart Buchanan 102 East Laurel St Scottsboro, AL 35768. Secretary of State’s web page: www.alabamavotes.gov United States Armed Forces members, including spouses, should contact their commanding Officer for an application or may go online: www.alabamavotes.gov
- Note: To be issued an absentee ballot in primary elections voters must specify on the application if they want a Democrat or Republican ballot.
- Separate applications for absentee ballots are required for elections which are more than 42 days apart, except as to individuals voting pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff. These elections only require one application, but you must select both Primary and Primary Runoff.
- Completed absentee applications must provide the Alabama residence where the voter is registered to vote, even if the ballot is to be mailed to another address where the applicant voter regularly receives mail. If you have moved and have not updated your polling place you should contact the local Board of Registrars and update your address prior to applying for an absentee ballot.
- Any completed application must be returned by the voter in person or be sent by mail or commercial carrier. No one, not even a family member, can return another person’s application.
- Each application must be mailed separately. Multiple applications cannot be mailed in the same envelope, even if the voters live at the same address,
- The absentee election manager may not give any person access to completed and filed applications for absentee ballots. This information is not a matter of public record. It should be considered privileged information just the same as voter registration applications.
- The absentee election manager shall forward absentee ballots by US Mail to the applicant’s residence address or upon written request of the voter, to the address where the voter regularly receives mail or by handing the ballot to the voter in person or, in the case of medical emergency voting, to his or her designee in person.
IMPORTANT: VOTERS MUST COMPLETE ALL THE INFORMATION ON THE AFFIDAVIT OF THE ABSENTEE VOTER ENVELOPE. IF THE VOTERS AFFIDAVIT IS NOT SIGNED (OR MARKED), AND IF THE AFFIDAVIT IS NOT WITNESSED BY TWO WITNESSES eighteen YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER OR A NOTARY PUBLIC OR OTHER OFFICER AUTHORIZED TO ACKNOWLEDGE OATHS, PRIOR TO BEING DELIVERED OR MAILED TO THE ABSENTEE ELECTION MANAGER, THE BALLOT WILL NOT BE COUNTED.