Residents of Limestone County wishing to vote absentee in the upcoming general election may now apply at the courthouse. Circuit Court Clerk Brad Curnutt has begun sending out and accepting ballots.
Concerns surrounding COVID-19 are expected to make absentee voting more popular this year versus previous elections.
Curnutt said he has received 1,300 applications for absentee ballots already, and 40 people had been to vote by Wednesday afternoon.
“We just got our ballots on Thursday,” Curnutt said. “We are jumping on it as quick as we can to try and get (the ballots) out to the voters. I've never had 1,300 applications prior to even receiving the ballots before. As soon as I got the ballots, I went ahead and opened my doors to let people come vote.”
Curnutt said anyone wishing to apply and vote absentee can either print off an application and bring it with them or receive one and fill it out at the office. The courthouse is open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Applications can be found at votelimestone.com by clicking on the absentee voting icon under voter information.
Absentee ballot applications can also be mailed to Brad Curnutt, Circuit Court Clerk, 1st Floor, Limestone County Courthouse, 200 W. Washington St., Athens, AL 35611.
Part of the absentee ballot application is answering why a voter is unable to make it to their local polling place the night of the election. Curnutt said the second answer, “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls,” has been designated by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill as the one to mark due to coronavirus concerns.
“This was all done before the pandemic,” Curnutt said. “If someone is voting absentee because of COVID, because they don't want to get out, they will check the second answer. It tells them ID required. So they will send this (application) in with a copy of their photo ID.”
Other than a photo ID like a driver's license, the only thing Curnutt said someone wishing to vote absentee might need to bring is a pen using black ink. He said his office has them available and they are sanitized, but individuals can bring their own if they wish.
While the main item will be the 2020 presidential election, there will also be four local votes on the ballot Nov. 3.
Democrat Roger Williams is facing Republican Danny Barksdale for the District No. 2 seat, while Republican Ben Harrison is facing Independent candidate LaDon Townsend for the District No. 4 seat on the Limestone County Commission.
There will also be two races for the Limestone County Board of Education. Democrat Rita Sanders Jackson faces Republican Belinda Maples for the District No. 4 spot. Republican Bradley Young is also on the ballot for the District No. 5 position, but he is running unopposed.
The last day to register to vote for the Nov. 3 general election is Oct. 19. The last day to apply to vote absentee is Oct. 29, while the last day to postmark or hand-deliver an absentee ballot is Nov. 2.
Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 3 for the general election.