Absentee voting rules that were in place to lower the risk of spreading the coronavirus during the July 14 runoff have been extended to cover the Aug. 25 municipal elections and the Nov. 3 general election.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill announced the change in a statement Monday.
“Amid coronavirus concerns, it is important to remember that Alabamians who are concerned about contracting or spreading an illness have the opportunity to avoid the polls on election day by casting an absentee ballot,” Merrill said in the statement.
Voters who feel it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their polling place because of COVID-19 can vote by absentee ballot. People applying for an absentee ballot must cite a reason they cannot vote in person. Merrill said in his statement that, if none of the other reasons on the ballot application applies, they should mark the one that says, “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]”
The deadline to submit an absentee ballot application to vote in the Nov. 3 election is Oct. 29. The deadline to register to vote in that election is Oct. 19. To vote in the Aug. 25 municipal elections, the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Aug. 20. The last day to register to vote in Aug. 10.
The polls will still be open for those who want to vote in person and will be equipped with personal protective equipment, sanitation supplies and possibly other anti-COVID measures, the statement said.