Absentee voting is underway for Nov. 6 general election

WINSTON COUNTY - Absentee voting for the Tuesday, Nov. 6, general election began on Sept. 22, and the last day for voters to register to vote is Monday, Oct. 22.

The last day voters may apply for a regular absentee ballot is Thursday, Nov. 1. Absentee ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by the United States Postal Service no later than Monday, Nov. 5, and must be received by the absentee election manager no later than noon on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

“We accept them by mail Nov. 6,” Absentee Election Manager J.D. Snoddy said. “We check our mailbox at 12.”

“The process for obtaining an absentee ballot is to meet one of the qualifications,” Snoddy said.

Qualifications for absentee voting are as follows:
1. The person will be out of the county or state on election day.
2. The person has any physical illness or infirmity which prevents his or her attendance at the polls, whether he or she is within or without the county on the day of election.
3. The person 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.
4. The person is enrolled as a student at an educational institution located outside the county of his or her personal residence (attendance) at which prevents his or her attendance at the polls.
5. The person is a member of, or spouse or dependent 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, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff.
6. The person has been appointed as an election officer or named as a poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place.

“You apply for an absentee ballot by filling out an application,” Snoddy continued. “When you mail the application in or bring it in person (to the circuit clerk’s office), you need to mail a copy of or bring your driver’s license along with it. We will return the ballot to you. There’s an envelope after you vote your ballot that you put your ballot in. That envelope has to be either notarized or witnessed by two signatures. You return the ballot back to us.”

If someone else in the family is voting absentee, only one ballot may be returned per envelope, Snoddy mentioned.

Instructions for absentee voters are as follows.
1. Mark your ballot by filling in the oval using a black ball point pen. Do not mark the oval with an X or a checkmark; do not circle the oval and do not erase.
2. Place your marked ballot in the white secrecy envelope and seal. Do not put your copy of photo identification inside the secrecy envelope.
3. Place the secrecy envelope in the white affidavit envelope and seal. Do not put your copy of photo identification in the affidavit envelope.
4. Complete and sign the affidavit on the back of the affidavit envelope. You must have your signature notarized or have two witnesses sign your affidavit.
5. Place the affidavit envelope inside the brown mailing envelope.
6. Place a copy of   the voter’s valid photo identification in the brown mailing envelope.
7. Seal the brown mailing envelope.
8. Mail or hand-deliver the brown envelope to the absentee election manager. If delivering by hand, the voter must hand-deliver the affidavit envelope. No one else can hand-deliver it for the voter.

The valid forms of photo identification for voting are as follows:
• a valid Alabama driver’s license;
• a valid Alabama nondriver ID;
• a valid Alabama Photo Voter ID card;
• a valid state-issued ID (Alabama or any other state);
• a valid federal-issued ID;
• a valid U.S. passport;
• a valid employee ID from the federal government, State of Alabama, county, municipality, board or other entity of this state;
 • a valid student or employee ID from a public or private college or university in the State of Alabama (including postgraduate, technical or professional schools);
• a valid student or employee ID issued by a state institution of higher learning in any other state;
• a valid military ID;
• a valid tribal ID.

For more information, visit alabamavotes.gov or call Snoddy at 205-489-5533.

See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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