Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has given any voter wary of catching COVID-19 while voting the opportunity to vote absentee in this November’s general election.
The Secretary of State is allowed during declared states of emergency to issue guidance to the state’s voters that addresses the change in circumstances caused by the emergency.
“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,” Merrill said in a statement on Monday.
The November election is expected to have a high turnout with both the presidential contest and a high profile U.S. Senate race on the ballot in Alabama.
The box that voters fearful of the coronavirus need to check on their absentee ballot application reads as follows:
I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]
Secretary Merrill first offered the coronavirus-related absentee policy during the primary runoff election on July 14, and earlier on Monday extended it for Alabama’s August 25 municipal elections.
For the November 3 general election, the deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is Thursday, October 29, and the last day to postmark an absentee ballot is Monday, November 2, per Secretary Merrill’s office.
Absentee ballots can also be hand-delivered by the person voting absentee to their county’s absentee election manager by close of business on November 2.
Voting in person at local precincts will still proceed as normal on November 3, albeit with enhanced sanitation protocols.
More information on how to get an absentee ballot, and the requirements for returning one, is available here.
If voters prefer, they can contact their county’s absentee election manager here.