Secretary Merrill Extends Absentee Voting for August Municipal Elections

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Courtesy of 
Alabama Sec. of State
Press Office

Secretary of State John H. Merrill has officially extended the opportunity for anyone concerned about COVID-19 to apply for and cast an absentee ballot for the upcoming municipal elections.

Secretary Merrill has authorized anyone concerned about contracting or spreading COVID-19 to cast an absentee ballot in order to avoid the polls on Election Day, at the request of the Alabama League of Municipalities on behalf of all Alabama municipalities scheduled to hold an election in 2020.

“We have worked to provide safe, secure and free elections for the people of Alabama through offering an extended absentee voting period during the recent Primary Runoff Election, and we will continue to see that Alabamians have the opportunity to safely participate in the electoral process during these challenging times,” Merrill said.

Any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their polling place shall be eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application that is most applicable to that individual. State law allows the Secretary of State to issue absentee voting guidance during declared states of emergency, allowing Secretary Merrill to encourage voters to check the box which reads as follows (in the case none of the boxes are appropriate):

“I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED].”

“We appreciate the Secretary of State’s Office collaborating with ALM to address these extraordinary circumstances as we head into municipal elections,” said Greg Cochran, League of Municipalities executive director. “Ensuring all Alabamians have a voice through their vote is imperative to the success of our state.”

For the Aug. 25 municipal elections, the deadline to register to vote is Aug. 10, the deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is Aug. 20, and the deadline to hand-deliver an absentee ballot is the close of business Aug. 24. If an absentee ballot is returned by mail, it must be postmarked by Aug. 24 and received by noon on Aug. 25.

If necessary, runoff elections will be held on Oct. 6.

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