The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 28, 2012

County officials predict record-breaking voter numbers

By Jean Cole
jean@athensnews-courier.com

— Nearly 1,500 Limestone County residents have already cast absentee ballots in the Nov. 6 presidential election. And, there are four days left to vote.

“The total so far is 1,476, with four days to go,” said Limestone County Circuit Clerk Charles Page Jr., absentee election manager. “The most we have ever had is about 1,700, and I know we will beat that number.”

Those numbers are in lock step with countywide voter registration. Felix Liveoak, chairman of the county’s board of registrars, said Limestone has reached a new high in voters for the presidential election with 50,026.

Voters were lined up all day Friday in the first-floor hallway of the Limestone County Courthouse. At one point, the line stretched nearly the width of the courthouse interior.

The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is Nov. 1.

To vote absentee, download an absentee ballot application from the Alabama Secretary of State’s website at www.alabamavotes.gov. You can mail it to the absentee election manager, but many voters simply hand-deliver it to the first floor of the Limestone County Courthouse, where a large sign directs voters where to vote. You can also obtain an absentee ballot application at that location.

Rules to vote absentee

In order to vote an absentee ballot, a voter must meet one of the following conditions:

• Will be absent from the county on Election Day;

• Is ill or has a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place;

Is a registered Alabama voter living outside the county, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the United States, a college student or a spouse or child of such a person;

• Is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place;

• Works a required shift, 10 hours or more, that coincides with polling hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

Absentee deadlines

An absentee ballot returned by mail must be postmarked no later than the day prior to the election. If hand-delivered, the ballot must be in the office of the absentee election manager by the close of business (but no later than 5 p.m.) on the day prior to the election. The absentee election manager must receive the absentee ballot by noon on Election Day if the ballot is mailed.