How to vote if you test positive for COVID-19 before Election Day
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has issued guidance for voters who receive a positive coronavirus test between Friday, October 30, and the day before the election, Monday, November 2.
Marshall says that a positive COVID-19 test during that period qualifies a voter to apply for an emergency absentee ballot.
Such ballots, and the system to get one, already exist in Alabama law.
Citizens who test positive may designate an adult to assist with the emergency absentee ballot process, meaning an individual who tests positive will be able to remain in quarantine and still vote.
The voter’s designee can deliver the emergency ballot application, pick up that ballot and bring it to the voter, and return the filled out ballot to the absentee election manager.
The space to assign the designee is at the bottom of the emergency absentee ballot application.
An application for an emergency absentee ballot requires the signature of a physician, or a physician can issue a signed report, and the voter can include that with their application.
Applications for an emergency absentee ballot must be turned in by the close of business on Monday, November 2.
Filled out emergency absentee ballots must be returned to the county absentee election manager by noon on Election Day.
In a typical year, emergency absentee ballots are used by individuals who find out suddenly that they must undergo a serious medical procedure on Election Day, or people who have their employer send them out of town for business at the last minute.
There appears to be no alternative to voting in person for someone who receives a positive coronavirus test result on Election Day.
The last day to apply for a standard absentee ballot was Thursday, October 29, creating the relatively narrow window of time for which Marshall has issued guidance.
People can also contact their absentee election managers by phone to get more details on hours of operation or answers to any questions they have about their emergency absentee ballot application.