Absentee voting under way

Published 8:43 pm Saturday, January 30, 2016

With the county, state and national primary less than just over 30 days away, deadlines are approaching for Pike County residents to register to vote and to cast absentee ballots.

The Republican and Democratic primaries take place March 1 and the ballot will include the presidential races as well as Pike County Commission and School Board races and Congressional races.

The last day for voters to register, via hand-delivery at courthouses, is Friday, Feb. 12, and all voter registration forms being sent by mail must be postmarked by Feb. 13.

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Jamie Scarbrough, Pike County Circuit Clerk, said applications for absentee ballots for the primary are now being accepted.

“Any qualified elector may vote an absentee ballot by mail or in person at the absentee election manager’s office by making application, in writing, not less than five days prior to the election,” she said.

Scarbrough functions as the absentee election manager for Pike County and as such oversees that portion of the balloting.

“In order to request an absentee ballot, voters must meet one of six requirements,” she said, including:

• The person will be out of the county or state on Election Day.

• The person has a physical illness or infirmity which prevents his or her attendance at the polls, regardless of whether or not he or she is in the county on election day.

• The person works a 10-hour or more shift that coincides with the hours the polls are open on election day.

• The person is enrolled as a student in an educational institution outside the county of personal residence.

• The voter is a member of or the spouse or dependent of a member of the U.S. armed forces.

• The voter has been appointed as an election officer or named as a poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling precinct.

“All applications for absentee voting and voter information are available on the website of the Alabama Secretary of State at www.sos.state.al.us, as well as in our office at the Pike County Courthouse, 120 W. Church St. in Troy,” Scarbrough said.

Scarbrough also said voters who choose to apply for absentee ballots must remember several key requirements.

“Applications can only be hand delivered by the voter or forwarded via U.S. mail,” she said. “Another person cannot return an application for the voter.”

All completed absentee applications must include the Alabama residence where the voter is registered to vote, “even if the ballot is mailed to another address where the applicant or voter regularly receives mail,” she said.

A valid photo ID is required for applications and a valid voter I.D. is required to cast ballots. “If you need a free voter I.D., you can contact the Board of Registrars and they will help process one for you,” she said.

Voters in the March 1 primary will choose to cast either Republican or Democrat ballots. Both ballots will include a vote on a statewide amendment to authorize a retirement program for district attorneys and circuit clerks hired after the Nov. 6 election.

In other races, the Republican ballot includes:

• For president, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, John R. Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump and uncommitted.

• Candidates for delegates to the Republican National Convention.

• For U.S. Senator, Marcus Bowman, John Martin, Jonathan McConnell, Shadrack McGill and Richard Shelby.

• For U.S. Representatives, 2nd Disrict, Becky Gerriston, Martha Roby and Robert “Bob” Rogers.

• For Alabama Supreme Court, Place 3, Donna Beaulleu and Tom Parker.

• For president, Public Service Commission, Twinkle Andres Cavanaugh and Terry Dunn

• And depending on the district, the following Pike County Commission races: District 3, Jimmy Barron and Forrest Lee; District 4, Chad Copeland and Andy Sheffield; and District 6, Joseph L. (Joey) Jackson and Russell David Johnson.

In other races, the Democratic ballot includes:

• For president, Hillary Clinton, Rocky DeLa Fuente, Martin J. O’Malley, Bernie Sanders and uncommitted.

• Candidates for delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

• For U.S. Senator, Ron Crumpton and Charles Nana.

• For state Board of Education, District 5, Ella Bell or Joanne Shum.

• Depending on residents, Pike County Commission District 4, Steve Thrash and Odes Pop Townsend.