Absentee voting requirements include:
• Being out of the county or the state on Election Day.
• Having a physical illness or infirmity which prevents attendance at the polls.
• Unable to access assigned polling place due to a neurological, musculoskeletal, respiratory (including speech organs) cardiovascular or other life-altering disorder that affects the ability to perform manual tasks, stand for any length of time, walk unassisted, see, hear, or speak; voter aged 65 or older; or a voter with a disability.
• Working a shift which has at least 10 hours that coincide with the polling hours at the voter's regular polling place.
• Enrolled as a student at an educational institution located outside the county of the voter's personal residence, attendance at which prevents attendance at the polls.
• A member of, or spouse or dependent of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, or is otherwise similarly qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff.
• An elected officer at a polling place that is not their regular polling place.
Source: Alabama Secretary of State Office
With the upcoming general election just over six weeks away, interest in absentee voting has been somewhat surprising to officials.
“We actually started last week because I had people coming in asking when they could vote an absentee ballot, and we had 10 vote then,” said Colbert County Circuit Clerk Nancy Hearn.
Hearn said voting has continued to be steady.
“We’ve had 42 so far, 23 in one day,” she said.
Officials in Lauderdale said 55 voters have voted absentee so far.
Absentee voting has had a strong start in Franklin County, too.
“We’ve had 21 so far, which is more than I anticipated with the voting just starting,” said Franklin Circuit Clerk Anita Scott.
Besides a full statewide ballot highlighted by races for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, there is a complement of county offices and legislative races in the region.
There are state legislative races in all three counties and six county races in Lauderdale, five county races in Colbert and two county races in Franklin.
Clerks across the region are not only seeing people coming in to vote absentee, but requests for applications for absentee ballots have been high as well.
“We’ve mailed out more than two dozen applications (for ballots),” Hearn said.
Applications for absentee voting are available at the absentee election manager's office at any of the area’s courthouses, or from the Secretary of State’s website at alabamavotes.gov.
Anyone serving in the United States armed forces (including spouse) should contact their commanding officer for an application, or may go online at alabamavotes.gov.
“I hope this is a sign that people are going to get out and vote in this election and we will have a good turnout,” Scott said.
The last day to vote an absentee ballot is Nov. 1.
For information about absentee voting, call 256-760-5718 in Lauderdale, ext. 5718; 256-314-5814 in Colbert; 256-332-8861 in Franklin County.