ST. CLAIR COUNTY -- The 2020 general election is Nov. 3, and many people are anticipating a higher number of absentee ballots to be cast than usual.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 29, and, according to the Alabama secretary of state’s website, the application must be returned along with a copy of a photo identification. Only one application and one photo ID are allowed per envelope.
In St. Clair County, absentee ballots are handled by Revenue Commissioner Kenneth L. Crowe, who also serves as absentee election manager.
Advanced Clerk Tracy Wolfe with the Revenue Office said residents should remember there are several ways to both to apply for a ballot and then return it.
Those interested in applying for an absentee ballot should either call the Revenue Office at 205-884-2395 or pick up an application at the Revenue Commissioner’s Office in the Ashville County Annex building or St. Clair County Courthouse in Pell City.
Wolfe said people wanting an application can also visit the secretary of state’s website at www.sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes and click “absentee voting,” then “absentee ballot application.” They should then scroll down until they see “St. Clair County” and click the PDF link to fill it out and print.
Once someone has an application, they can return it in person or mail it by USPS or a commercial carrier.
Applications should be mailed to:
Absentee Election Manager
1815 Cogswell Ave. Suite. 205
Pell City, AL 35125
Wolfe said an emergency designee can also deliver the application but only in the case of a medical emergency no more than five days from the election.
Wolfe also reminded residents they can choose to vote absentee due to illness if they have concerns regarding COVID-19, but a valid photo ID will be required for this option and any other option that states it as a requirement.
She said it's also important to make sure the application is completed correctly, as a failure to do so will invalidate the application. She added there are a few other things to look out for.
“It is very important to note that only one application (is allowed) per envelope,” she said. “We cannot accept more than one application per envelope and we cannot accept applications hand-delivered by anyone else other than the applying voter.”
Wolfe said after an application is received, a ballot will be sent out within one business day. Ballots can then be returned by the same methods as the applications.
Wolfe said residents can do the whole process at the Revenue Commissioner’s Office until the last day to submit an application on Oct. 29.
“You can apply and vote all at once in person Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., except state holidays, between Sept. 9 and Oct. 29,” she said.
The last day to hand-deliver a ballot is Nov. 2. The last day to postmark a ballot is Nov. 2, and it must be delivered to the Revenue Commissioner’s Office by noon Nov. 3.
In Talladega County, Circuit Clerk Brian York is the designated absentee election manager.
“You can receive an absentee application by mail by calling me at 256-299-0748 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.” he said in a social media post. “You can also come to the Talladega County Judicial Building at 148 East St. N in Talladega from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to fill out an application and vote in person as long as you have a reason listed on the application. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.”
Staff writer Chris Norwood contributed to this story.