Absentee Voting

Eligibility
A voter may cast an absentee ballot if he or she:

  • Will be absent from the county on Election Day
  • Is ill or has a physical infirmity that prevents a trip to the polling place
  • Is a registered voter living outside the county, including but not limited to, members of the armed forces or a U.S. citizen residing overseas (or a spouse or dependent of such a person) or students at an educational institution located outside their county of residence
  • Is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling location other than his or her regular polling location
  • Works a required shift which has at least 10 hours that coincide with polling hours
  • Is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, a spouse of, or a dependent of, a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, a citizen living abroad or any other applicant qualified to vote pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.S. 1973ff (UOCAVA) – more information on Military & Overseas voting/UOCAVA is available here.

Application Deadline
The last day to submit application to receive an absentee ballot is 5 days before the election (Thursday of the week prior to the election) except in case of business or medical emergency (see further restrictions).  Completed applications must be personally hand-delivered by applicant or sent through the U.S. Mail, one per envelope.

Voting Deadline
An absentee ballot returned by mail must be postmarked no later than the day prior to the election and received by the Absentee Office by noon on Election Day if mailed.  See UOCAVA section for exceptions.  If hand-delivered (by the voter), the ballot must be in the Absentee Office by the close of business (but no later than 5 p.m.) on the day prior to the election. The absentee ballot must be received by the Absentee Office by noon on Election Day if the ballot is mailed.

Absentee Office Location
Madison County Courthouse
100 North Side Square
Huntsville, AL 35801
(256) 532-3684

Business / Medical Emergency Voting
Applications can be made after the absentee deadline but no later than 5 PM on the day before the election, if the voter:

  • Is required by an employer due to unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on an emergency business trip on Election Day; or
  • Has a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician within 5 days of an election

In addition to the application outlined below, the Emergency Absentee Ballot Application contains an affidavit acknowledging that the voter was not aware of the out-of-county business trip prior to the normal absentee ballot deadline. The medical emergency application requires that the attending physician describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency.

The Emergency Absentee Ballot Application can be found here.

Absentee Ballot Application
To obtain an absentee ballot, mail in an application (one per envelope), write or visit the Absentee Office to request an absentee ballot and provide the following:

  • Name and residential address (or other such information in order to verify voter registration)
  • Election for which the ballot is requested
  • Reason for absence from polls on Election Day
  • Party choice, if the election is a party primary*
  • Address to which the ballot should be mailed
  • Voter signature (if a mark is made in place of a signature, it must be witnessed)

*It is not necessary to give a party choice for a general election; however, in a party primary a voter may participate in only one political party’s primary; thus a choice must be designated so that the appropriate ballot can be provided. If the voter declines or fails to designate a choice for a primary or primary runoff ballot, the Absentee Office may send only the ballot for constitutional amendments.

The absentee ballot application must be returned to the Absentee Office by the voter in person (or by the voter’s designee in the case of medical emergency voting) or by U.S. Mail. Upon receiving the absentee ballot application, the Absentee Office may request additional evidence on the reason for voting absentee if the voter has a history of continuous absentee voting.

The Absentee Ballot Application can be found here.

Ballot Receipt/Return
If the absentee ballot application is approved, the Absentee Office:

  • Forwards the absentee ballot by U.S. Mail; or
  • Personally hand-delivers the absentee ballot to the voter (or to a designee in the case of medical emergency voting)

Procedure

  • The absentee ballot comes with three envelopes –one plain (the secrecy envelope), one with an affidavit, or oath, printed on the outside, and one plain, preaddressed envelope (the outer envelope). Once the voter casts the ballot, the procedure is as follows:
  • Seal the ballot in the plain envelope
  • Place the plain envelope inside the accompanying affidavit envelope
  • Seal the affidavit envelope and complete the affidavit that is on the outside of the envelope
  • Sign the affidavit and have the signature witnessed by either a notary public or two witnesses 18 years of age or older
  • Place the affidavit envelope and a COPY of voter identification inside the outer envelope
  • Remember to place a copy of your ID (NOT THE ORIGINAL) inside the outer envelope

Witness or Notarization

  • An absentee ballot cannot be counted unless the affidavit is notarized or has the signatures of two witnesses

Submitting the Voted Absentee Ballot
The voter is required to use one of the following methods for returning his or her absentee ballot:

  • Send the ballot to the Absentee Office by U.S. Mail; or
  • Personally deliver the ballot to the Absentee Office (or by designee in the case of medical emergency voting)