Local officials say residents still have time to cast an absentee ballot in the July 14 primary runoff election, as preparations are made to protect workers and the public at area polling places.
Secretary of State John Merrill has encouraged those who are concerned about contracting or spreading the coronavirus to apply for and cast an absentee ballot.
The coronavirus pandemic led the state of Alabama to postpone the March 31 runoff elections headlined by the Republican Senate race between former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is trying to reclaim his old Senate seat. The winner will face U.S. Sen. Doug Jones in November.
The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot for the runoff election is July 9. The deadline to return an absentee ballot to the absentee election manager is the close of business on July 13, and the last day to postmark an absentee ballot is July 13.
Any qualified voters who determine it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their polling place is eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application that is most applicable and, if none of the boxes are appropriate, voters can check the box which reads: “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.”
Lawrence County Probate Judge Greg Dutton said the probate office is taking measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic to protect poll workers and voters on Election Day.
Dutton said that in addition to providing protective gear for polling sites, his office will sanitize all 30 of them before and after the voting.
“I feel obligated to the churches and agencies allowing us to use their venues as polling sites,” he said. “We will be using a sanitizer that is good from about 15 feet to sanitize the sites afterward to show our appreciation.”
He is also reducing the number of poll workers from 209 to about 150 as a precaution. “We will be practicing social distancing and work to keep everyone safe,” Dutton said.
He said Lawrence County poll worker training is set for July 8 at the Moulton Recreation Center.