Ala. absentee voting requirements posted

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Applications for absentee ballot for the June 5, Primary Election are now being accepted.  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 completing the federal postcard application form, authorized and provided for under the provisions of the Federal Voting Assistance Act.

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 office of Kathy Coulter, Absentee Election Manager, Russell County Judicial Center, 501 14th Street, Phenix City, Alabama 36867. Those serving in the United States armed forces, including spouse, should contact their commanding officer for an application. Applications and voter information are also available on the website of the Alabama Secretary of State at:

Separate 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 include 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 voter registration, you should contact the Russell County Board of Registrars at 1000 Broad Street, Phenix City, Alabama, 334-298-1443, and update your address prior to applying for an absentee ballot.  The last day to register or update prior to any election is 14 calendar days prior to the election date.

A completed application must be returned, by the voter, in person or by U.S. mail. No one, not even a family member, can return another person’s application. Alabama law prohibits the acceptance of multiple applications in the same envelope. The absentee election manager is required to return applications to the sender’s address should this occur.

The absentee election manager shall forward absentee ballots by U.S. 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 instructions will accompany each absentee ballot. If voter ID requirement is applicable, these instructions must be carefully followed to ensure the ballot meets all requirements.

Absentee voters must complete all information on the affidavit of the absentee voter envelope.  If the voter’s affidavit is not complete or not signed (or marked), and if the affidavit is not witnessed by two witnesses 18 years of age or older or a notary public or other officer authorized to acknowledge oaths, prior to being delivered or mailed to the Absentee Election Manager, the ballot cannot be counted.

The absentee election manager is required to post, each day, a list to include names, addresses and voting places of each applicant.  This list is public record and will be posted in the office of the Russell County Absentee Election Manager. The absentee election manager may not give any person access to completed absentee ballots applications.  This information is not a matter of public record.


Absentee Voting Requirements

Any qualified elector may vote an absentee ballot by U. S. 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:

• The person will be out of the county or state on Election Day.

• 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 of the county on the day of election.

• 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.

• The person is enrolled as a student at an educational institution located outside the county of his or her personal residence which prevents his or her attendance at the polls.

• 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.

• 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.



• Last day to register to vote: 14 calendar days prior to Election Day – Board of Registrars Office

• Last day to apply for absentee ballot: 5 days prior to Election Day (5-31-18)

• Last day voted absentee ballot may be hand delivered by voter:  Friday before Election Day (6-01-18)

• Last day to postmark voted ballot, returned via U. S. mail: 1 day prior to Election Day

• Last day Absentee Election Manager may receive voted ballot by U. S. mail:  Election Day by noon

• If mailed, allow time for postal delays.

For more information concerning absentee voting, contact: Kathy Coulter: 334-298-0516 Ext. 2348,       ,