Emergency absentee process available for newly diagnosed COVID-19 voters

Emergency absentee process available for newly diagnosed COVID-19 voters

By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued guidance on Friday that said voters who test positive for COVID-19 from now until Election Day can apply for an emergency absentee ballot.

The last day to apply for absentee voting in Alabama was Thursday, meaning anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 now would not be able to vote through the state’s normal absentee process.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that any person testing positive for COVID-19 should not go into public spaces and should quarantine at home for at least 10 days.

Those who need to apply for an emergency absentee ballot must fill out a form from the Secretary of State and get it to their county’s absentee election manager by the close of business on Monday.

The application requires a copy of an eligible form of photo I.D. and a note from a physician describing why the voter needs the emergency absentee ballot and the physician’s signature on the form.

The completed absentee ballot must be submitted to their counties’ absentee election manager no later than noon Tuesday.

The COVID-19 positive voter is able to designate an individual to submit their application and their completed ballot for them. That designee must also sign the form.

Voters are recommended to turn their absentee ballots into their county’s absentee election manager’s office in person rather than through the mail since there is a risk it won’t be received in time to be counted so close to Election Day.

As of Friday, 329,657 absentee ballots have been requested and 276,352 absentee ballots have been returned, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Even though the state is still under a mandatory mask order when in public spaces, voters do not have to wear a mask to the polls.

Secretary of State John Merrill said polling stations will be providing masks to anyone who wants one and his office has supplied face masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and other personal protective equipment to all voting sites.

You can print out the emergency absentee application here: https://www.sos.alabama.gov/sites/default/files/voter-pdfs/absentee/EmergencyAbsenteeAppFillable.pdf