FLORENCE — Lauderdale County Circuit Court Clerk Missy Homan said absentee balloting for the July 14 primary runoff election is underway, despite the courthouse being virtually shut down due to the coronavirus.
"We're going to be absentee voting now until July 9," Homan said. "I've sent out 200 (ballots) already."
The March 31 runoff was moved to July 14 due to the ongoing pandemic. The Lauderdale County Courthouse is temporarily closed to the general public.
"My main message is, I want the county to know we're here working and to answer any of their questions," Homan said.
County voters are encouraged to contact the clerk's office if they have any questions about the absentee balloting process or to request an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots can also be be requested through the mail.
Voters must be able to produce a valid ID to be able to secure an absentee ballot.
A copy of the ID is required, but Homan said she would allow someone to take a photo of their ID if they do not have access to a printer.
Homan said absentee ballots are also available at the front lobby of the courthouse. She said to ask security personnel for a ballot package and return it by mail. They can also be placed in a drop box at the courthouse front door.
"There is plenty of time to handle everything," she said.
Homan said action on court cases has also been pushed back since Presiding Circuit Judge Gil Self suspended all in-person court proceedings, including jury trials, for 30 days, last week.
An order issued by Self stated suspended cases would be reset by the respective court.
There are exceptions to the order, including proceedings related to protection from abuse, emergency mental health orders, time sensitive matters and proceedings related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Anyone who is ill, experiencing respiratory issues, running a fever or has traveled outside the continental U.S. in the past 30 days shall not attend or appear at any court proceeding, Self said.
"We're keeping everything moving while trying to be cautious and protect our employees," Homan said.
The clerk's office can be reached at 256-760-5732 or online at lauderdalecircuitclerk.com.