Absentee voting under way

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 30, 2010

Absentee voting is now under way for the June 1 primaries, Circuit Clerk Roger Powell said.

“The official first day was April 22,” he said. “And it’s been very slow other than the military.”

Powell said it’s been much slower than the 2008 election, but said that election was historic because a record number of voters turned out.

In the June primaries, Alabama voters will have to “choose sides,” voting in either the Democratic or Republican primary. The statewide offices on the ballot include governor, lt. governor, secretary of state and treasurer. There are a number of local offices on the ballot this year, but the only contested party nomination is for the House of Representatives seat currently held by Seth Hammett, who is not seeking re-election. Both Greg White and Mike Jones Jr. are seeking the Republican nomination; the winner will face Democrat David Darby and indepedent Don Cotton in the November general election.

The last day to apply for an absentee ballot for June will be Thurs., May 27, at 5 p.m. at the Circuit Clerk’s office.

“They can walk in, apply and vote or they can do it by mail and we can mail it out,” Powell said. “We do business both ways. We do have a lot of walk-ins the closer it gets to Election Day.”

This year, Powell said there is a kink in the process.

“The day before the election is Memorial Day, which is a state and federal holiday,” he said. “Normally, ballots can be hand delivered the Monday before Election Day. This year business and medical emergencies cannot occur the Monday before.”

Powell said he recommends those who know they are going to be out of town to go ahead and apply for an absentee ballot now.

In order to vote absentee, a registered voter must meet one of the following requirements:

be out of the county or state on election day.

have any physical illness or infirmity, which prevents his or her attendance at the polls, whether he or she is within or out of the county on the day of election.

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.

is enrolled as a student at an educational institution located outside the county of his or her personal residence and it prevents attendance at the polls.

is a member of, or spouse or dependant 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.

have been appointed as an election officer or named as a poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her normal polling place.

For more information, contact the circuit clerk’s office at 428-2520.