Curbside voting will not be offered in North Alabama

Updated: Oct. 7, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The countdown is on to the general election and we’re on your side to answers questions about curbside voting.

It has been one week since a federal judge ordered Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill to allow curbside voting in counties that choose to do so on the November 3rd election.

Merrill said he was going to appeal the ruling, however as of now, no counties are planning to offer it.

The main reason? We are told there is not enough time to implement curbside voting and ensure ballot integrity.

There are only 27 days until November 3rd. Election officials across the state are finishing last minute details.

“We have a checklist in advance of every election with approximately 500 items that we have to ensure is in order, in place before we can executive an election,” said Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger.

Also, on that list this year, the option to offer curbside voting.

“The scale of the work that would be necessary to put curbside voting in place would take several years of proper planning. It would require changes to polling locations, it would require permission from all the places that provide polling locations throughout the county.”

Through curbside voting and with proper ID, a voter would be able to cast a ballot while in a vehicle outside the polling location. Curbside voting has been offered in Alabama but not on a widespread level. It has been an option for voters who are disabled and cannot enter the polls.

A federal judge said the state of Alabama cannot block this from happening November 3rd.

“That might sound so simple but think about a location that we might have 7,500 registered voters. What if all 7,500 wanted to vote via drive through or curbside? Think about the traffic situation that would cause just at one location, being able to manage that. Multiply that by 72 locations. It is nothing something we can scale for this election. There is just no way to do it.”

People First Alabama, one of the groups that pushed for curbside voting, said if it is a burden for you to stand in line November 3rd - say you are in a wheel chair or can’t stand for a long period of time- you legally can ask for polling officials to make reasonable accommodations to submit your ballot.

Being prepared to vote on November 3rd is key. If you have a concern that you may need accommodations to vote, call your county’s probate office now, ahead of election day.

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