Many Ala. civilian relief workers won't be able to vote - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Many Ala. civilian relief workers won't be able to vote

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Alabama's quick response to the disaster Superstorm Sandy left in the Northeast means some registered Alabama voters - who are helping the region recover - won't get to vote in next week's election.

Earlier this week Alabama's Secretary of State Beth Chapman extended absentee voting to military personnel helping relief efforts, but this extension doesn't apply to civilians. This applies to Alabama Power and other electrical workers and Red Cross volunteers.

Some point out that those workers knew there was a chance they might not be back in time, but others want to know if there's anything that can be done.

Chapman's office says there's nothing they can do for workers that have already left. They say it would take an act of Congress to move back the election date in order to give those civilian relief workers a chance to vote. But with Congress not in session, that doesn't seem likely.

However, if a civilian relief worker finds out they have to leave between Thursday, Nov. 1 and Monday, Nov. 5 they have an option. They could apply for an absentee ballot in the case of a business emergency.

FOX6 News investigated whether these workers could vote on a federal ballot, which would cover the Presidential race and Congressional seats, but Chapman's office says that is also only reserved for military personnel.

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