Persons may qualify to vote absentee provided they meet the following criteria:
- They will be out of the county or state on election day.
- They have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents them from attending the polls regardless of whether they are in the county or state on election day.
- They work on a shift that has at least ten hours which coincide with the hours the polls are open at their regular polling location.
- They are enrolled as a student at an educational facility located outside of the county of their personal residence which prevents their attendance at the polls.
- They are a member of (or spouse or dependent of a member of) the armed forces of the United States, or is similarly qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the federal Uniformed Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff.
- They have been appointed as an election officer or named as a poll watcher at a polling place other than their regular poll place.
Such persons must make application in writing not less than than five (5) days prior to the election in which they desire to vote absentee. §17-11-4, Code of Alabama 1975.
Also, any registered elector who requires emergency treatment by a licensed physician within five (5) days of an election may apply for an emergency absentee ballot for the election and may vote by returning the ballot no later than 12:00 noon on the day the election is held. The attendant physician shall describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency on a special form designed by the Secretary of State as provided by the City Clerk. This special form shall be attached to the application. §17-11-18, Code of Alabama 1975.
In addition, any registered elector may vote by an emergency absentee ballot if they are required by their employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on an emergency business trip on election day. Under this circumstance, the applicant shall apply for the emergency absentee ballot at the office of the City Clerk no later than the close of the business day prior to the election. The application shall be completed on a form designed by the Secretary of State and shall contain an affidavit which the applicant shall sign or swear acknowledging that they were not aware of the emergency business trip prior to five days before the election. §17-11-4, Code of Alabama 1975.
When returning your applications for absentee ballot by mail, be sure to mail such applications for persons residing the same home in separate envelops as the absentee election manager may not accept multiple applications which are mailed in one envelop. Attorney General Opinion to Hon. Don Sigelman, September 10, 1982.
Absentee ballots shall not be accepted unless 1) delivered by mail or 2) hand-delivered by the voter. Absentee ballots may be returned up to and including the day of the election. Absentee ballots received by mail must be postmarked as of the day prior to the election Absentee ballots received by hand-delivery must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day prior to the election. Absentee ballots received after the times specified above or after the election date, regardless of the postmark date, shall not be counted.