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Absentee ballots available

Aug. 15 special election will fill Sessions vacant Senate seat

As the gap closes between now and Aug. 15 special primary election for the U.S. Senate, voters should know so does the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot.

The day’s election will fill the seat vacated by now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with a runoff set for Sept. 26 and the general election on Dec. 12.

Gov. Kay Ivey set the dates in April, stating “The law… clearly states the people should vote for a U.S. Senator as soon as possible,” following Session’s appointment.

Escambia County Circuit Clerk John Robert Fountain said the deadline is set for Thurs., Aug. 10, to apply for a ballot and urged residents to apply for and cast their absentee ballot in person instead of submitting them by mail. Ballots will not be accepted if delivered to the courthouse by a person other than the voter.

Fountain said those ballots must be in his office or postmarked by Aug. 14.

Fountain said those facing cases of extreme emergency also have an option to cast their ballots.

“It is understood that things happen, emergencies happen,” he said. “Now, there is a provision for an emergency absentee ballot. Those applications are available and to qualify, one must meet extenuating circumstances and provide adequate documentation.

“Then, there is also a provision for a business emergency, but when you sign the application, you are solemnly swearing that you will be out of the county on business prior to the five days prior to the election,” he said.

“The voter must deliver the application by hand to the courthouse during the five days prior to the election,” he said.

“I need to remind people that when you include a copy of your ID when submitting a ballot, don’t put it in the secure envelope, because we can’t open that. And people should remember, if you vote by absentee ballot, you should not go to the polls and vote.”

Fountain also urged voters to follow the printed instructions on the ballots, which includes having a signed affidavit that its witnessed or notarized. If not, those ballots won’t be counted, he said.

Those who have moved and have not updated one’s polling place should contact the Board of Registrars and update one’s address prior to applying for an absentee ballot or update on line at www.alabamavotes.gov.

Anyone with questions may contact Fountain’s office at 251.867.0305.

The polls will open Tues., Aug. 15, at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.