BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
The absentee voting period for the March 5 Primary Election has begun.
Voters may request an absentee ballot by writing or visiting their county Absentee Election Manager and providing the following information:
Name and residential address;
A copy of valid photo identification
Election for which the ballot is requested;
Reason for absence from the polls on Election Day; Party choice, if the election is a Primary or Primary Runoff;
Address to which the ballot should be mailed; Voter’s signature (if signed with a mark, it must be witnessed).
It is not necessary to give party choice when applying for an absentee ballot for a General Election. However, in a Primary Election, a voter may participate in only one political party’s primary; therefore, a choice must be designated on the application so the appropriate ballot can be provided.
If the voter declines to designate a party choice for a Primary or Primary Runoff Election, the Absentee Election Manager may send only the ballot for constitutional amendments.
A registered voter may cast an absentee ballot if he or she:
Expects to be absent from the county on Election Day;
Is ill or has a physical disability that prevents voter access to their assigned polling location;
Is a registered Alabama voter living outside the county, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the United States, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person;
Is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place;
Expects to work a required shift, 10 hours or more, that coincides with polling hours;
Is a caregiver for a family member to the second degree of kinship by affinity or consanguinity and the family member is confined to his or her home;
Is currently incarcerated in prison or jail and has not been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude.
Applications for business and medical emergency voting can be made after the absentee deadline.
EMERGENCY ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION
However, the emergency absentee ballot application and the voted absentee ballot must be returned no later than noon on the day the election is held.
On the emergency absentee ballot application, the voter may designate someone to turn in the application, receive the absentee ballot, and return the voted absentee ballot to the Absentee Election Manager on behalf of the voter.
A voter may cast an emergency absentee ballot if they:
Have a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician within five days of an election;
Are required by an employer due to unforeseen circumstances within five days before an election to be unavailable at the polls on Election Day;
Are a caregiver of a person who requires emergency treatment by a licensed physician within five days before an election;
Have a family member to the second degree of kinship by affinity or consanguinity (voter or voter’s spouse’s parents, grandparents, siblings, children or grandchildren) pass away within five days before an election In addition to application information outlined, the emergency application contains an affidavit acknowledging that the voter was not aware of the circumstances prior to the normal absentee ballot deadline. The application for medical emergency requires that the attending physician describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency.
Other important information:
If you changed residence since you last voted, you must update your voter registration information at Alabamavotes.gov or with your local Board of Registrars before submitting your application.
You will need a copy of your valid photo id. It must be submitted along with the application.
When you apply for an absentee ballot you will not be able to vote at your polling place.
Only the voter can hand the application to the Absentee Election Manager (AEM). Power of Attorney or third party to sign and/or deliver is prohibited.
You may mail your application to the AEM at 700 Court Square, Greenville AL 36037.
You can also visit the Alabama Secretary of State website www.sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes/absentee-ballot-applications to download an absentee ballot.
Voters may also contact the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at 334-242-7210 to request an absentee ballot application or if you questions or concerns.
The AEM for Butler County is Mattie Gomillion.
The physical and mailing address is 700 Court Square, Greenville, Alabama, 36037. The phone number is 334-371-VOTE (8683).
Important absentee voting deadlines are listed below:
Feb. 16: Last day to hand-deliver voter registration form to board of registrars for primary election.
Feb. 17: Last day to postmark voter registration form for primary election.
Feb. 19: Last day to register to vote electronically until midnight for the primary election.
Feb. 29: Last day to turn in application for absentee ballot for primary election by hand.
March 4: Absentee ballots returned by hand to absentee election manager must be received no later than close of business on day prior to election.
March 5: Absentee ballots returned by mail to the absentee election manager must be received no later than noon.
March 5: Last day for military and other UOCAVA voters in primary to postmark an absentee ballot returned by mail to absentee election manager.
Ballot information can be from the Butler County Courthouse or visiting www.sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes/2022-primary-election-sample-ballots and scroll to found the county you are registered to vote.