For statewide elections, absentee ballot applications and completed absentee ballots should be hand delivered or mailed to the Absentee Election Manager in care of the Circuit Clerk.
MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTERS
Alabama citizens who are members of the Uniformed Services and their family members, merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Alabama overseas citizens can find additional information on absentee voting here.
Absentee Voting Eligibility
A voter may cast an absentee ballot if he or she
- WILL BE ABSENT FROM THE COUNTY on election day
- IS ILL OR HAS A PHYSICAL DISABILITY that prevents a trip to the polling place
- IS A REGISTERED ALABAMA VOTER LIVING OUTSIDE THE COUNTY, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the United States, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person
- IS AN APPOINTED ELECTION OFFICER OR POLL WATCHER at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place
- WORKS A REQUIRED SHIFT, 10-HOURS OR MORE, that coincides with polling hours
BUSINESS/MEDICAL EMERGENCY VOTING applications can be made after the absentee deadline but no later than 5 PM on the day before the election, if the voter:
- is required by an employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on election day for an emergency business trip, or
- has a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician
In addition to application information outlined in the next section, the business emergency application contains an affidavit acknowledging that the voter was not aware of the out-of-county business trip prior to the normal absentee ballot deadline. The medical emergency application requires that the attending physician describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency.
Absentee ballot application
To obtain an absentee ballot, write or visit the local Absentee Election Manager (usually the Circuit Clerk), request an absentee ballot, or you can download here, and provide the following:
- name and residential address (or other such information in order to verify voter registration)
- election for which the ballot is requested
- reason for absence from polls on election day
- party choice, if the election is a party primary. (It is not necessary to give a party choice for a general election; however, in a party primary a voter may participate in only one political party’s primary; thus a choice must be designated so that the appropriate ballot can be provided. If the voter declines or fails to designate a choice for a primary or primary runoff ballot, the absentee election manager may send only the ballot for constitutional amendments.)
- address to which the ballot should be mailed
- voter signature (If a mark is made in place of a signature, it must be witnessed)
The absentee ballot application must be returned to the Absentee Election Manager by the voter in person (or by the voter’s designee in the case of medical emergency voting) or by U.S. Mail. No absentee ballot application may be mailed in the same envelope as another voter’s absentee ballot application.
Upon receiving the absentee ballot application, the Absentee Election Manager may request additional evidence on the reason for voting absentee if the voter has a history of absentee voting. The absentee ballot applications must turned in no later than the fifth calendar day before the election.
If the absentee ballot application is approved, the Absentee Election Manager
- forwards the absentee ballot by U.S. Mail, or
- personally hands the absentee ballot to the voter (or to a designee in the case of emergency voting)
The absentee ballot comes with three envelopes — one plain (the secrecy envelope), one with an affidavit, or oath, printed on the outside, and one plain envelope, preaddressed (the outer envelope). Once the voter casts the ballot, the procedure is as follows:
- Seal the ballot in the plain envelope
- Place the plain envelope inside the accompanying affidavit envelope
- Seal the affidavit envelope and complete the affidavit that is on the outside of the envelope
- Sign the affidavit and have the signature witnessed by either a notary public or two witnesses 18 years of age or older
- Place the affidavit envelope and a COPY of voter identification inside the outer envelope
- Remember to place a copy of your I.D. (NOT THE ORIGINAL) inside the outer envelope
WITNESSES OR NOTARIZATION
An absentee ballot cannot be counted unless the affidavit is notarized or has the signatures of two witnesses.
The voter has only the following legal ways to return the absentee ballot:
- forwards the absentee ballot by U.S. Mail, or
- personally hands the absentee ballot to the absentee election manager (or delivers by a designee in the case of emergency absentee voting)
An absentee ballot returned by mail must be postmarked no later than the day prior to the election. If hand-delivered, the ballot must be in the office of the Absentee Election Manager by the close of business (but no later than 5 p.m.) on the day prior to the election.