Deadline for casting absentee ballots approaching

Published 7:21 pm Friday, February 24, 2012

Escambia County voters planning on casting an absentee ballot in this year’s Alabama primary on March 13 still have time to do so.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is 4 p.m. Thursday, March 8. Primary ballots will include presidential candidates for each party as well as candidates in statewide and local primaries, although there are no contested local races on the ballot.

Circuit Clerk Ken Taylor said there are a number of different criteria that may qualify a voter to receive an absentee ballot, including: being out of the county during voting; college and other students enrolled in schools outside of the county; military personnel stationed outside of the county or assigned to other duty; voters with physical illnesses or handicaps which would prevent them from appearing in person to cast a vote.

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Taylor also said there are two emergency scenarios in which a person who has not applied for an absentee ballot may do so after the March 8 deadline, but no later than the day before the election. The criteria include: medical emergencies during which the patient was admitted after the Thursday deadline; business emergencies calling for travel outside of the county of which a voter did not have prior knowledge.

Taylor said voters utilizing the medical exception rule are allowed a proxy who will deliver the application as well as deliver and return the ballot.

According to Taylor a clause in currently in the works that may allow exemption to the deadline for people who have suffered a recent death in the family, but said currently that is not a valid reason for an exception.

Applications are available for pick up at the Escambia County Court House located at 314 Belleville Avenue in Brewton. The court house may be reached by phone at (251) 867-0225.