Absentee Voting

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 physically incapacitated and will not be able to vote in person because they cannot access their assigned polling place due to one of the following disabilities: neurological, musculoskeletal, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, or other life-altering disorder that affects his or her ability to perform manual tasks, stand for any length of time, walk unassisted, see, hear or speak, and A) he or she is an elderly voter aged 65 or older; or B) he or she is a voter with disability
  • Is a registered voter living outside the county, including but not limited to, 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 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.
  • 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 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 home

Application Deadline
The last day to submit an application by mail to receive an absentee ballot is 7 days before the election (Tuesday of the week prior to the election) except in case of business or medical emergency (see “Business/Medical Emergency Voting” below). The last day to submit an application in person to receive an absentee ballot is 5 days before the election (Thursday of the week prior to the election). Completed applications must be personally delivered by the applicant or sent through the U.S. Mail, or other recognized carrier, with only one per envelope. Please be sure to include a copy of your valid photo ID with your application.

Absentee Voting Deadline
An absentee ballot returned by mail must be received by the Absentee Office by noon on Election Day. See UOCAVA section for exceptions. If hand-delivered (by the voter), the ballot must be in the Absentee Office 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 Service Center
1918 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
(256) 532-3684

What is 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.

How do I Apply for an Absentee Ballot?
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:

  • A copy of your photo identification (Requirement as of 8/1/2019)
  • 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; therefore, 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 or other recognized carrier. 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.

If the absentee ballot application in approved, the Absentee Office will forward the absentee ballot by mail or deliver by hand to the voter (or to the designee in the case of medical emergency voting).

The Absentee Ballot Application can be found by clicking HERE.

What is Permanent Disability Absentee?
To apply for Permanent Disability Absentee you must first complete the application listed HERE. After the application is received and it is verified that a voter’s disability prevents his or her attendance at the polls, the voter will be placed on a permanent absentee voter list. This will result in the voter being automatically mailed disabled voter absentee ballots before each election within the calendar year. The voter’s application for an absentee ballot is good through the end of the calendar year in which the application is filed. If an election continues into the following year, the application is valid for the entire election cycle.
Ballot Receipt/Return
The absentee ballot comes with three envelopes –one plain (the secrecy envelope), one with an affidavit, or oath, printed on the outside, and one preaddressed envelope (the outer envelope). Once the voter casts (i.e. fills out) the ballot, he or she should complete the following steps:

  • Seal the ballot in the plain, secrecy 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. This will require the signature of a witness by either a notary public or two witnesses 18 years or older.

Witness or Notarization

  • An absentee ballot cannot be counted unless the affidavit is notarized or has the signatures of two witnesses over the age of 18.

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 other recognized carrier
  • Personally deliver the ballot to the Absentee Office (or by designee in the case of medical emergency voting)