Tag: absentee voting

JeffCo Commission Indicates It Will Look for Alternate Absentee Voting Space After Clerk Alleges Voter Suppression

Bessemer Absentee Voting Clerk Karen Dunn Burks had a hug for every member of the Jefferson County Commission present after the panel settled on a resolution to a contentious disagreement over where absentee voting will take place in Bessemer.

During its meeting Tuesday at the Bessemer Justice Center, commissioners moved to Thursday’s meeting agenda a plan for absentee voting to continue in the ceremonial courtroom in the basement of the justice center while the offices of the county manager and general services explore the possibility of moving the office to the second floor.

Burks last week accused Jefferson County government of voter suppression because of plans to move her office from the courtroom basement to another office also in the basement. She contended the plan created unfair conditions and accommodations for voters and was inhumane.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Burks said, “I feel very hopeful. I feel very good. Read more.

Legislature’s Differences on Election Legislation Reflect a National Divide

MONTGOMERY —  In the wake of the 2020 elections, measures to change voting procedures and regulations have been introduced at the federal and state levels, revealing a deep partisan divide over how voting should work.

While Democrats in Congress are pushing legislation that would limit states’ ability to enact strict voting requirements, Republicans in state legislatures are considering bills to tighten voting regulations in the name of securing voter integrity.

Alabama has followed suit, as a number of election-centered bills have been introduced during the ongoing 2021 regular session. Around 32 bills from both Democrats and Republicans introduced this year have dealt with Alabama election law.

Some of the conservative measures have drawn sharp concern from Democrats saying the bills promote voter suppression and are in reaction to President Donald Trump’s false accusations of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 election.
Read more.

More from the Legislature:
Bills Would Limit Cities’ Gas Tax Spending
Senator Looking for Fix on Tax-Filing Interest Issue

Absentee Voting Bills Pass First Vote

MONTGOMERY — Legislation dealing with absentee voting in Alabama overcame the first legislative hurdle Wednesday as the bills passed through the House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee.

A bill that would allow for more sites to be opened in a county to accept in-person absentee ballots was debated and approved, as was a bill to require absentee applications be submitted earlier. Read more.

More from the Legislature:

Committee-Approved $7.6B Education Budget Includes Multiple Pay Raises
Riot, Voter Bill Taken Up in Legislature
Read complete legislative coverage

Hundreds Stand in Line to Vote Thursday, the Last Day to Apply for an Absentee Ballot

The line of absentee voters for Tuesday’s election was long and steady this morning outside the Park Place entrance to the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, with voters waiting up to an hour or more to enter the courthouse and proceed to the absentee vote manager’s office on the fifth floor.

Today was the last day for Alabama voters to turn in absentee ballot applications to their county absentee voting manager, which in Jefferson County is the circuit clerk.

Outside the courthouse in Birmingham, prospective voters were receiving numbered slips of paper that they needed to gain entry to the courthouse, and by 11:30 a.m., more than 400 had been given slips, with dozens waiting to get theirs. Read more.

Uncertainty Looms Over Validity of Some Jefferson County Absentee Ballots

There has been confusion and concern among some voters in Jefferson County over whether their absentee ballots would be counted in the November election.

Earlier this month, an unknown number of county residents cast their absentee ballots using a waiver that Jefferson County sent them saying they did not have to have witnesses or a notary sign their absentee ballots. The waivers were sent out after U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon ruled that those requirements could be waived this year for voters who were 65 and older with an underlying medical condition, an action taken to avoid putting them at greater risk during the pandemic.

But two weeks later, on Oct. 13, a higher court overruled Kallon and reinstated the witness requirement.

County officials said in a statement Monday that ballots postmarked on or before Oct. 13 will be counted. But residents who returned ballots with the waiver postmarked after that date were instructed to call the county’s absentee election manager, who is working on a plan to correct deficiencies in the votes. Read more.