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Everything you need to know about how to absentee vote in Alabama

Voting booths (Photo: Flickr)
Voting booths (Photo: Flickr)

Absentee Ballot Application

To obtain an absentee ballot, write or visit the local Absentee Election Manager (usually the Circuit Clerk), request an absentee ballot, and provide the following:

• Name and residential address
• Election for which the ballot is requested
• Reason for absence from polls on election day
• Party choice, if the election is a party primary*
• Address to which the ballot should be mailed and

• Voter signature (if a mark is made in place of a signature, it must be witnessed)

*It is not necessary to give a party choice for a general election.

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.

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 continuous absentee voting.

APPLICATIONS FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL AND OVERSEAS CITIZENS — Applications submitted by military personnel, their spouses or dependents, and U.S. citizens residing overseas are valid for all federal, state, and county elections in the current calendar year. However, these voters should ensure that they keep their mailing addresses updated with their counties’ Board of Registrars and with their Absentee Election Manager.

Ballot Receipt/Return – Non-UOCAVA Voters

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 medical emergency voting).

BALLOT PROCEDURE — 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, pre-addressed envelope (the outer envelope). Once the voter casts the ballot, the procedure is as follows:

• Seal the ballot in the plain envelope (the secrecy 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 the voter’s photo voter identification inside the outer envelope, unless exempt as an elderly voter or voter with disability whose polling place is inaccessible (see page 6).
• Remember to place a copy of your ID (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.

SUBMITTING THE VOTED BALLOT — The voter is required to use one of the following methods for returning his or her absentee ballot:

• Send the ballot to the Absentee Election Manager by U.S. Mail; or
• Personally deliver the ballot to the Absentee Election Manager (or by a designee in the case of medical emergency voting).

VOTING DEADLINE — An absentee ballot returned by mail must be postmarked no later than the day prior to the election. If hand-delivered by the voter, the ballot must be in the Absentee Election Manager’s office by the close of business (but no later than 5 PM) on the day prior to the election. The absentee ballot must be received by the Absentee Election Manager by noon on election day if, the ballot is mailed.

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