HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - With major elections on the calendar this year in Alabama, some people are concerned about gathering at the polls amid the global coronavirus pandemic. Even though Alabama is an “excuse” absentee state, you can still submit an absentee ballot if you have concerns.
When submitting an absentee ballot in Alabama, you must explain why you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day. Some leaders fear people who are worried about going to the polls won’t vote at all since the absentee ballot does not offer a specific COVID-19 option for them.
Secretary of State John Merrill runs elections in the state. He told WAFF 48 News Thursday his office will accept ballots with this excuse.
“Tell all people that have a question to mark the box that ‘I am ill or infirmed and will be unable to appear at my polling site on Election Day.’ That will qualify as the excuse for them to choose," stated Merrill.
Thursday night, the Huntsville City Council passed a resolution urging state lawmakers to change the policy.
Councilwoman Francis Akridge wants them to change the verbiage on the ballot to prevent any confusion.
“We’re encouraging that the legislation change the law so that everybody has the ability to reprint their absentee ballot and sign for ‘health reasons in general, I am not going to head to the polls in person,’" said Akridge.
Runoff election absentee ballots are due to the state July 9. The runoff is July 14.
For more information, click here for the state election website.