Alabama House debates bill to allow no-excuse absentee voting

Alabama House debates bill to allow no-excuse absentee voting
An Alabama House committee debated a bill that would allow you to vote absentee without having to provide an excuse. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - On Wednesday, an Alabama House committee debated a bill that would allow you to vote absentee without having to provide an excuse.

Right now, to vote absentee before Election Day, Alabamians must have an excuse to do so. For example, being out of town on Election Day.

However, this bill would allow for no-excuse absentee voting, meaning you could vote absentee before Election Day and not have to provide a reason.

The secretary of state’s office stood in support of Democratic Rep. Laura Hall’s absentee voting bill. She said it would give more people a chance to vote if they have busy schedules on Election Day.

“It does help. You know, an individual who says, you know, I have to work 12 hours, or an individual who has other things going on, that it provides an opportunity for them not to have an excuse for missing an opportunity to vote,” Hall said.

Those against the bill, like the Alabama Probate Judges Association, say no-excuse voting will impact the integrity of Alabama’s elections.

Others said the state is not prepared and staffed to handle no-excuse absentee voting.

“If it’s not broke, why fix it? Alabama is known for having quality elections with integrity. And by removing the reasons from the application in the affidavit envelope for absentee voters, you’re diminishing the integrity. That is one of the foundational components to be able to look for voter fraud,” said Houston County Circuit Clerk Carla Woodall.

Committee members only heard testimony from people for and against the bill Wednesday. They plan to take a vote another time.

The bill does not get rid of the photo ID requirement to apply for an absentee ballot. It also does not eliminate the affidavit and witness requirement.

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