Voting information for run-off elections July 17

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Special to the
Opelika Observer

Any qualified elector may vote an absentee ballot by mail or in person at the absentee election manager’s office if he or she makes application in writing not less than five days prior to the election and meets one of the following requirements:
1. The person will be out of the county or state on Election Day.
2. The person has any physical illness or infirmity which prevents his or her attendance at the polls, whether he or she is within or without the county on the day of election.
3. The person works a shift which has at least 10 hours which coincide with the hours the polls are open at his or her regular polling place.
4. The person is enrolled as a student at an educational institution located outside the county of his or her personal residence (attendance) at which prevents his or her attendance at the polls.
5. The person is a member of, or spouse or dependent of a member of, the armed forces of the United States or is similarly qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff.
6. The person has been appointed as an election officer or named as a poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place.
An applicant for an absentee ballot who is a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the Alabama National Guard, the United States Naval Reserves, the United States Air Force Reserves and the United States Army Reserve on active duty or active duty training or an applicant who is the spouse of any member of the armed forces or any other applicant qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff, may make application for an absentee ballot by filling out the federal postcard application form, authorized and provided for under the provisions of the Federal Voting Assistance Act. Note! Attorney General Opinion # 2008-107. Applicants listed in this section who wish to vote in Municipal Elections must submit the application to the absentee manager designated for Municipal Elections.
•Any registered elector who requires emergency treatment of a licensed physician within five days of an election may apply for an emergency absentee ballot for the election and may vote by returning the absentee ballot no later than noon on the day the election is held. The attendant physician shall describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency on a special form designed by the Secretary of State and provided by his or her office to local absentee election managers. The special form shall be attached to the application.
•Any registered elector whose name appears on the poll list of qualified voters may vote by an emergency absentee ballot if he or she is required by his or her employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on an emergency business trip on Election Day. Under such circumstances, the applicant shall apply for an emergency absentee ballot at the office of the absentee election manager no later than the close of the business day one day prior to the election. The applicant shall complete and file an application form designed by the Secretary of State for emergency absentee voters. The form shall contain an affidavit which the applicant shall sign or swear acknowledging that he or she was not aware of the out-of-county business requirement prior to five days before the election. An applicant who meets the requirements of this subsection may vote by an emergency absentee ballot. After voting the ballot, the voter shall hand the ballot to the absentee election manager.
Applications for absentee voting are available at the Absentee Election Manager’s Office located at 205 S. 10th Street, Opelika, AL 36801. Applications can also be requested by mail at P.O. Box 1616, Opelika, AL 36804 or online at the Secretary of State’s web page (www.alabamavotes.gov ). Those serving in the United States armed forces (including spouse) should contact their commanding officer for an application or may go online at www.alabamavotes.gov
Note: During the 2017 Regular Session, the Alabama Legislature passed Act 2017-340. This law requires a person who voted in a political party’s primary election to participate in the same party’s primary runoff election, if the person seeks to vote in a primary runoff election. If a person did not vote in a political party’s primary election, the person maintains the right to choose in which party’s primary runoff election he or she will vote.
Applications for absentee ballots are required for elections which are more than 42 days apart, except as to individuals voting pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff.
Completed absentee applications must provide the Alabama residence where the voter is registered to vote, even if the ballot is to be mailed to another address where the applicant voter regularly receives mail. If you have moved and have not updated your polling place you should contact the local Board of Registrars and update your address prior to applying for an absentee ballot. Monday, July 2 is the last day to register and update your polling place information for the July 17 Primary Run-Off Election.
Any completed application must be returned by the voter in person or be sent by US Mail. No one, not even a family member, can return another person’s application. Multiple applications cannot be mailed in the same envelope.
The absentee election manager may not give any person access to completed and filed applications for absentee ballots. This information is not a matter of public record. It should be considered privileged information just the same as voter registration applications.
The absentee election manager shall forward absentee ballots by US Mail to the applicant’s residence address or upon written request of the voter, to the address where the voter regularly receives mail or by handing the ballot to the voter in person or, in the case of medical emergency voting, to his or her designee in person.
Voter identification instructions will accompany each absentee ballot and must be carefully followed to ensure that the ballot meets the requirements of the law.

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