As candidates make their last push campaigning for office this month, voters should take note of important dates and changes for the June 3 primary election.
This year, voters will be required to present a valid photo ID when they hit the polls. County voters can also expect three new polling places. Hanceville voters will no longer vote at the old Steppville Fire Station and must go to the Hanceville Recreation Center at 902 Commercial St. N.E. Baileyton voters will now vote at the Baileyton Senior Center instead of the Baileyton Town Hall at 195 Fire Station Road. A third precinct has been changed in Cold Springs, where residents will use the new community center as a polling place instead of the Cold Springs Volunteer Fire Station.
Deadlines are also fast approaching for those who aren’t registered to vote or who plan to vote absentee. May 23 will be the last day to register to vote and May 29 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot for the primary.
You can get a free voter ID card, register to vote, update your voter registration and apply for an absentee at he Cullman County Board of Registrars at the Cullman County Courthouse (500 Second Ave. S.W., Room 112). You may contact the registrar’s office at 256-775-4750. You can also register to vote at public assistance offices, such as Medicaid, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the Department of Human Resources.
Residents with driver licenses or non-driver ID will not need a new photo voter ID. You must be a registered voter in order to obtain the free ID card which can only be used specifically to vote.
“A person who doesn’t a photo ID that shows up to vote will only be allowed to vote provisional,” said Nan Auston with the county registrar’s office. “The provisional ballots have to be reviewed first before they are counted.”
Someone without proper photo ID will also be allowed to vote if two election officials can confirm his or her identity, Auston said.
To receive a free Alabama Photo Voter ID card, a voter must show one of the following:
A photo ID document or a non-photo identity document can be used if it contains your full legal name and date of birth.
Documentation showing the voter’s birth date.
Documentation showing the person is a registered voter.
Documentation showing the voter’s name and address as reflected in the voter registration record.
The following non-photo ID documents can be used to obtain a free voter ID card: birth certificate, hospital or nursing home record, marriage record, state or federal Census record, military record, Medicare or Medicaid document, Social Security Administration document, certificate of citizenship and official school record or transcript. All must contain full legal name and birth.
For those who won’t be able to make it to the polls June 3, any qualified voter may submit an absentee ballot by mail or in person at the absentee election manager's office which is the Cullman County Circuit Clerk Lisa McSwain. The clerk’s office is inside the courthouse at 500 Second Ave. S.W., Room 303.
McSwain said the applicant must meet one of the following requirements to vote absentee:
Be out of the county or state on Election Day.
Have any physical illness or infirmity which prevents his or her attendance at the polls, whether he or she is within or outside the county on the day of election.
Works at least a 10-hour shift that coincides with the hours the polls are open at his or her regular polling place.
Enrolled as a student at an educational institution outside the county of his or her personal residence that prevents his or her attendance at the polls.
A member of, a spouse or dependent of a member of, the armed forces or is similarly qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.
Appointed as an election officer or named as a poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place.
Applications for absentee voting and voter information are available on the Alabama Secretary of State’s website (www.sos.state.al.us), on the Cullman County Courts’ website (www.cullmancourts.org) and the circuit clerk’s office.
Completed absentee applications must include the Alabama residence where the voter is registered to vote, even if the ballot is to be mailed to another address where the voter regularly receives mail.
Absentee ballots must be postmarked June 2 and received no later than noon June 3. If hand-delivered, the ballot must be in the circuit clerk’s office by the close of business (but no later than 5 p.m.) on June 2.
Tiffeny Owens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 256-734-2131.