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Voter registration, absentee application deadlines approaching

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming general election is approaching, as well as deadlines for absentee voting.

To vote on local and statewide races in the upcoming election, as well as to decide on constitutional amendments, residents will need to register to vote by October 22.

Deborah Teal, chair of the Pike County Board of Registrars, said it is important for eligible voters to register and make their voices heard.

“Many people lost their lives to give us all the opportunity to vote,” Teals said. “Voting is a privilege and when you exercise tour right to vote, your voice can be heard. I hope all eligible citizens of Pike County will come out Tuesday, November 6, to cast their votes in the General Election.”

To register for the election, a person must be a U.S. citizen, must reside in Alabama, must be 18 years or older on Election Day, must not be barred from voting due to a disqualifying felony conviction and must not have been declared mentally incompetent by a court.

The Pike County Board of registrars should be notified of any changes such as change of name or address prior to the election.

A citizen may register to vote:

  • online at alabamavotes.gov/olvr (Alabama driver’s license or nondriver identification card necessary);
  • by using the Vote for Alabama app;
  • when applying for or renewing a State of Alabama driver’s license or nondriver identification card;
  • at state and local government offices when applying or recertifying for Aid to Dependent Children, SNAP, TANF, Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid or Rehabilitation Services;
  • at public libraries;
  • at armed forces recruiting stations;
  • at the Board of Registrars downstairs at the Pike County Courthouse
  • by mail-in form available at probate judge and license commissioner offices, colleges and universities, public schools or libraries. A mail-in form may also be obtained by calling the county Board of Registrars or the Elections Division in the Office of the Secretary of State at 1-800-274-8683 (VOTE); or
  • by mail-in form downloaded from alabamavotes.gov

Once registered, residents will be eligible to vote in the general election on Tuesday, November 6, or if necessary, they can vote by absentee ballot.

Any qualified elector may vote an absentee ballot by mail or in person at the absentee election manager’s office, if he or she makes application in writing at least five days prior to the election and meets one of the following requirements:

  • The person will be out of the county or state on Election Day.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The person is a member of, or spouse or dependent of a member 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.
  • 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.

An applicant for an absentee ballot who is a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the Alabama National Guard, the United States Naval Reserves, the United States Air Force Reserves, and the United States Army Reserve on active duty or active duty training or an applicant who is the spouse of any member of the armed forces or any other applicant qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff, may make application for an absentee ballot by filling out the federal postcard application form, authorized and provided for under the provisions of the Federal Voting Assistance Act.

Any registered elector who requires emergency treatment of a licensed physician within 5 days of an election may apply for an emergency absentee ballot for the election and may vote by returning the absentee ballot no later than noon on the day the election is held. The attendant physician shall describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency on a special form designed by the Secretary of State and provided by his or her office to local absentee election managers. The special form shall be attached to the application.

Any registered elector whose name appears on the poll list of qualified voters may vote by an emergency absentee ballot if he or she is required by his or her employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on an emergency business trip on Election Day. Under such circumstances, the applicant shall apply for an emergency absentee ballot at the office of the absentee election manager no later than the close of the business day one day prior to the election. The applicant shall complete and file an application form designed by the Secretary of State for emergency absentee voters. The form shall contain an affidavit which the applicant shall sign or swear acknowledging that he or she was not aware of the out-of-county business requirement prior to five days before the election. An applicant who meets the requirements of this subsection may vote by an emergency absentee ballot. After voting the ballot, the voter shall hand the ballot to the absentee election manager.

Applications for absentee voting are available at the absentee election manager’s office (Pike County Circuit Clerk, Jamie N. Scarbrough, 120 W. Church St. Troy, AL), and the Secretary of State’s webpage (www.alabamavotes.gov). Those serving in the United States armed forces (including spouse) should contact their commanding officer for an application or apply online at www.alabamavotes.gov.

Completed absentee applications must provide the Alabama residence where the voter is registered to vote, even if the ballot is to be mailed to another address where the applicant voter regularly receives mail.

Residents that have moved and have not updated their polling place should contact the local Board of Registrars and update the address prior to applying for an absentee ballot.

Any completed application must be returned by the voter in person or be sent by US Mail. No one, not even a family member, can return another person’s application. Multiple applications cannot be mailed in the same envelope.

The absentee election manager may not give any person access to completed and filed applications for absentee ballots. This information is not a matter of public record. It should be considered privileged information just the same as voter registration applications.

Voter identification instructions will accompany each absentee ballot and must be carefully followed to ensure that the ballot meets the requirements of the law.

Voters must complete all the information on the affidavit of the absentee voter envelope. If the voter affidavit is not signed or marked, and if the affidavit is not witnessed by two witnesses 18 years of age or older or a notary public or other officer authorized to acknowledge oaths, prior to being delivered or mailed to the absentee election manager, the ballot will not be counted.