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North Alabama voters casting absentee votes in large numbers

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — It is clear that 2020 is not a typical year and that applies to elections as well.
Alabama, which has no early voting rules, has plenty of early voting going on, through walk-in absentee voting.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has ruled Alabama voters can indicate on an absentee ballot applications they have an infirmity or illness, which allows them to vote absentee by mail or in person.

The courthouse doors across Alabama opened Sept. 9, to allow in-person absentee voting.

By going that route, voters don’t need to have a notary’s signature or two witnesses confirming their identity for their ballot. The concerns about mail-in voting, including the timing of delivery, are also avoided.

The Alabama Secretary of State’s office said as of Tuesday, the date it last compiled figures, showed that across Alabama 73,993 absentee ballots had been requested and 15,740 absentee ballots had been successfully returned.

In Limestone County, 2,300 absentee ballots have been requested; Morgan County 1,900 absentee ballots have been issued and about 500 have been returned, and in Madison County 14,000 absentee ballot applications have been submitted.

Limestone County Clerk Brad Curnutt said this is already the busiest election he’s worked as far as absentee and voter contact.

Morgan County Clerk Chris Priest said he expects by next Wednesday they will have surpassed all of the absentee ballot requests from 2016.

And Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger says Madison County is averaging about 200 walk-in voters a day.

In 2020, an absentee ballot application has be submitted by Oct. 29 and the ballot must be returned by hand by 5 p.m., Nov. 2. A mailed-in ballot has to be postmarked by Nov. 3.

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