PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Absentee voting is currently underway for the City of Gadsden election for mayor and council members to be held on August 28. This process should not be confused with “early voting,” which is not allowed in the state of Alabama.
State law (17-11-3) gives the reasons a voter may apply for an absentee ballot:
(1) The person will be out of the county or the state, or the municipality for municipal elections, on election day.
(2) The person has any physical illness or infirmity which prevents his or her attendance at the polls, whether he or she is within or without the county on the day of the election.
(3) The person works on a shift which has at least 10 hours which coincide with the hours the polls are open at his or her regular polling place.
(4) The person is enrolled as a student at an educational institution located outside the county of his or her personal residence attendance at which prevents his or her attendance at the polls.
(5) The person is a member of, or spouse or dependent of a member of, the Armed Forces of the United States or is similarly qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff.
(6) The person has been appointed as an election officer or named as a poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place.
Voters may apply in person at the City Clerk’s office (Room 401, Gadsden City Hall, 90 Broad Street) or mail their application to P. O. Box 267, Gadsden, AL 35902.
Applications can be downloaded from the City Clerk page on the city’s website: www.cityofgadsden.com or picked up from the City Clerk’s office. The clerk’s office is also willing to mail an application to voters who request one by calling us at 256-549-4517.
Applicants must provide their residence address, which must match with their voter registration. If you have moved and have not updated your voter registration, please contact the Etowah County Board of Registrars at 256-549-5385 to find out how to update your address before applying for an absentee ballot. Voters may also register to vote or update voter information online at www.alabamavotes.gov. The deadline for this process is August 13 (14 days prior to the election).
We cannot accept a completed application from anyone but the voter. Voters may also return their application by U.S. Mail. Alabama law prohibits the acceptance of multiple applications in the same envelope.
The absentee ballot package will include instructions for the voter, including the requirements for providing a valid photo identification. Absentee voters must complete all information on the affidavit of the absentee voter envelope. If it is not complete or not signed (or marked), and notarized or witnessed by two witnesses 18 or older prior to being delivered or mailed, the ballot cannot be counted.
The deadline for applications is Thursday, August 23. No ballots may be issued after that date, unless a voter qualifies for an emergency absentee ballot. Voters should submit applications as early as possible to allow the time required for mail delivery.
Iva Nelson, City Clerk/Absentee Election Manager
Room 401, Gadsden City Hall, 90 Broad Street