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Don’t forget to submit absentee ballot

Absentee Ballot applications are due by the end of the week. With the primary election on the horizon, all Alabama citizens who will not be available on March 3rd, are encouraged to cast an absentee vote.

“The last day for me to accept an application is Thurs., Feb. 27, 2020. You must apply before you get a ballot. If people already have their ballots, it must be postmarked by March 2nd for me to take them,” explained John Fountain, Escambia County Absentee Election Manager.

According to Fountain, applications for absentee ballots must be filed in his office no less than 5 days prior to the election. The deadline to apply is Feb. 27, at 4 p.m. The deadline to apply for medical or business emergencies is no later than 12 p.m. on Tues., March 3.

There are qualifications for individuals voting absentee. Fountain shared, “There is a checklist on that application. They must fall in some type of category in order to qualify for absentee ballot.”

As reported by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office, a voter may cast an absentee ballot if he or she:

expects to be absent from the county on election day

is ill or has a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place

is a registered alabama voter living outside the county, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the united states, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person

is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place

expects to work a required shift, 10-hours or more, that coincides with polling hour

is a caregiver for a family member to the second degree of kinship by affinity or consanguinity and the family member is confined to his or her hom

is currently incarcerated in prison or jail and has not been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude

Compared to other years, Fountain has noticed a slight change in the number of votes cast. “It has been a low voter turnout with the absentees so far because there are no local races so to speak on the ballot,” said Fountain. “I would consider this a low turnout with the numbers I am seeing,” he added.

To apply for an application, the voter must be present. No one is allowed to bring in an application for another person. Voter identification is now required by Alabama’s Voting Laws. All ballots must be returned by the voter in person to Fountain’s office no later than 4 p.m. on Mon., March 2.

Fountain encouraged all Escambia County residents to cast a vote.

“If people want to come in and vote they can. If they come up here and fill out the application by Thursday, I will give them a ballot and they can vote in the office,” said Fountain.

Applications may be accessed online, picked up locally at the Escambia County Courthouse or at the satellite office in Atmore.