Registration, absentee deadlines approaching for election

Published 3:00 am Friday, October 21, 2016

The deadlines to register for the general election and for voting absentee are fast approaching.

The last day to register for the election is Monday, October 24. The last day to vote absentee is Thursday, November 3.

Residents can register to vote at the Pike County Board of Registrars or at a public library, or by completing a mail-in form. These forms can be found at public libraries, colleges, schools and the offices of the probate judge and license commissioner.

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Pike County Circuit Clerk Jamie Scarbrough explained the process for registering for an absentee ballot.

“They can pick up an application in our office or call and have one mailed,” Scarbrough said. “With how close we are to the deadline, I’d suggest coming to the office and getting the application and people can even vote in the office. If you’re waiting for me to mail you one, and then you have to turn around and mail it back to me, we’re cutting it close. You don’t want someone to not get to vote because their ballot got lost in transition.”

Scarbrough also talked about the correct process for casting the ballot and returning it. “Voters need to remember to send a copy of their driver’s license and fill out the voter affidavit envelope with a notary or two witnesses,” Scarbrough said.

Scarbrough said it’s important to make sure the copy of the driver’s license is in the outside envelope.

“We do not open the inside envelopes,” Scarbrough said. “Those are opened by the poll workers. They open the envelopes and pull out ballots and they’re counted when the polls close so they don’t see who voted for who.”

There are several reasons that a resident can vote absentee. A voter may cast an absentee ballot if he or she:

• will be absent from the County on the election day;

• is ill or has a physical infirmity that prevents a trip to the polling place;

• is a registered Alabama Voter living outside the county including but not limited to, members of the armed forces or a U.S. citizen residing overseas (or a spouse or dependent of such a person) or students at an educational institution located outside their county of residence;

• is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place; or

• works a required shift which has at least 10 hours that coincide with polling hours.

Business and medical emergency voting applications can be made after the absentee deadline but no later than 5 pm on the day before the election, if the voter:

• is required by an employer due to unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on an emergency business trip on election day; or

• If you have a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician within 5 days of an election.