Alabama has received more than 200,000 absentee ballot requests, deadline is October 29

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Voting in Alabama is different this year. To deal with health concerns surrounding the pandemic, the Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has said voters can choose to vote absentee and do so, in person.

And that is proving to be a popular option.

But, are elections officials ready for all of these absentee ballots?

Merrill told News 19 they’ve been planning for months, checking with county election offices to ensure they’ve got the resources they need. He said local elections officials are ready

In Madison County, that will mean plenty of work election day. Voters have filled the courthouse for weeks, since in-person absentee voting began last month.

Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger says they’ve seen as many 1,000 people vote in a single day. This week, voter lines around the courthouse were common, though voters said the line moved quickly.

Merrill says he is thrilled with the response.

“It’s tremendous and I think it’s an indication of the excitement and the enthusiasm that our people have for the elections process,” Merrill said, “and their desire to have their voice heard and their vote counted for the candidates of their choice, most notably in the presidential election and the U.S. Senate election. And those numbers are outstanding coming from Judge Barger there in Madison County. Statewide we’ve had more than 205,000 absentee ballots applications submitted and more than 134,000 absentee ballots successfully returned.”

North Alabama voters are voting absentee in record numbers. Madison County reports it’s had 31,600 absentee ballot requests and nearly 25,000 returned. Limestone County had just over 5,300 ballot requests and 3,700 returned. Morgan County had 3,802 requests and more than 2,647 requests.

Next Thursday, Oct. 29, is the last day to get an absentee ballot application. It has to be returned in person by 5 p.m. on Nov. 2, the day before the election. Mail-in ballots need to be postmarked by Nov. 2.

Those mail-in ballots also have to be received by noon on Nov. 3.

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