By Cassandra Johnson,
Etowah County Circuit Clerk/
Absentee Election Manager
Applications for absentee ballots must be filed in the office of the Absentee Election Manager/Circuit Clerk not less than five (5) days prior to the March 1 primary election. The deadline to apply is Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 by 5 p.m. You may vote medical and business emergency, if you qualify, on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, and Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. The business emergency application requires that you sign an affidavit stating you were not aware until after the Feb. 25 deadline that you had to go out of town on business. Business emergency ballots must be voted in the Absentee Election office in person. The designee must return medical emergency ballots no later than 12 p.m. on Election Day to the Absentee Election Manager.
Any qualified elector of this state may vote an absentee ballot, provided they meet the requirements of (17-10-1 et seq. 17-11-3 and 17-11-4 of the 1975 Code of Alabama). The elector shall apply in writing by sworn affidavit and meet one of the following requirements:
* I WILL BE ABSENT FROM THE COUNTY OR STATE on Election Day.
* I HAVE A PHYSICAL ILLNESS OR INFIRMITY that prevents my attendance at the polls.
* I HAVE A PHYSICAL ILLNESS OR INFIRMITY that prevents my attendance at the polls, I am unable to access my assigned polling place due to a neurological, musculoskeletal, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, or other life-altering disorder that affects my ability to perform manual tasks, stand for any length of time, walk unassisted, see, hear or speak, and (a) I am an elderly voter aged 65 or older; or (b) I am a voter with a disability.
* I WORK A SHIFT WHICH HAS AT LEAST TEN (10) HOURS that coincide with the polling hours at my regular polling place.
* I AM ENROLLED AS A STUDENT at an educational institution LOCATED OUTSIDE THE COUNTY of my personal residence, attendance at which prevents my attendance at the polls.
* I HAVE BEEN APPOINTED AS AN ELECTION OFFICER at a polling place which is not my regular polling place.
* I AM A MEMBER OF, OR A SPOUSE OR DEPENDENT OF A MEMBER OF, THE ARMED FORCES of the United States or am otherwise similarly qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973FF.
Any person desiring to vote Absentee or pick up an application may visit the office of the Absentee Election Manager/Circuit Clerk located in the Etowah County Judicial Building, 1st Floor-801 Forrest Avenue, Suite 202 Gadsden, Ala., 35901. All applications for Absentee ballot shall be mailed to Cassandra Johnson, Absentee Election Manager/Circuit Clerk at the same above address. Those persons serving in the United States Armed Forces (including spouse and dependents) should contact their commanding officer for an application. Applications are also available for download at the Alabama Secretary of State website at www.alabamavotes.gov.
Any completed application must be returned by the voter in person or be sent by U.S. Mail. No one, not even a family member, can return another person’s application. Multiple applications cannot be mailed in the same envelope.
When voting in person, a valid photo ID must be presented to the Absentee Election Manager. Contact Absentee Election Manager for exceptions.
Applications for absentee ballots are required for elections that are more than 42 days apart, except as to individuals voting pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff.
TO VOTE IN THE PRIMARY OR PRIMARY RUNOFF ELECTION, YOU MUST DESIGNATE A POLITICAL PARTY.
The last day to register to vote or update your voting status is Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. For information concerning your voter registration and voting precinct, please contact the Etowah County Board of Registrars at (256) 549-5384. Please update your address prior to applying for an Absentee ballot so that you will receive the correct ballot for your current address.
If you need further information about voting Absentee, you may call Circuit Clerk/Absentee Election Manager Cassandra Johnson at the Circuit Clerk’s Office, (256) 549-5355.