Absentee ballots important part of upcoming election
by Ron Harris
Apr 08, 2014 | 941 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker County Circuit Clerk Susan Odom met with several local candidates Monday to explain the steps to casting absentee ballots in the upcoming primary election. Odom invited all local candidates to the informal meeting to help them understand the process to avoid having absentee ballots rejected and not counted. – Photo by: Ron Harris.
Walker County Circuit Clerk Susan Odom met with several local candidates Monday to explain the steps to casting absentee ballots in the upcoming primary election. Odom invited all local candidates to the informal meeting to help them understand the process to avoid having absentee ballots rejected and not counted. – Photo by: Ron Harris.
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Local candidates in the upcoming primary election were invited to an informal meeting Monday designed to teach them the proper steps to using absentee ballots.

Walker County Circuit Clerk Susan Odom met with the candidates to explain the process for voters to use if they need to cast their ballot using an absentee ballot.

Also on hand for the meeting were representatives from area nursing homes and health care facilities.

“I just like to meet with all the candidates and representatives from the nursing homes so everybody understands the process for casting absentee ballots,” Odom said following the meeting. “It’s only fair to have everybody together to go over this so it’s not like I’m picking and choosing favorites. It’s just a way to get the information out there.”

Anyone who will be out of town or working during the June 3 primary election is eligible to cast an absentee ballot, Odom said. Those serving in the military are able to cast absentee ballots.

“The reasons to vote using an absentee ballot is if your going to be out of the county for whatever reason, and you’re swearing under oath that you’re not going to be here the day of the election. If you are just not physically able to go to the polls, you can also get an absentee ballot.”

Those requesting an absentee ballot must fill out an application and return it to the circuit clerk’s office. Absentee ballots can be cast beginning 45 days prior to the primary election, which is set for Tuesday, June 3, this year. The deadline to file an application for an absentee ballot is the close of business on Thursday, May 29.

Applications for absentee ballots must be turned in by the person who requested the ballot, and ballots must be turned in by the person casting the votes. There are no exceptions, Odom said, unless in the case of a medical emergency.

The ballots can be filled out and cast at the circuit clerk’s office, or they can be mailed to Odom’s office. However, mailed absentee ballots must be notarized or have two witnesses to verify their authenticity, and they must be postmarked no later than June 2 and recieved by the circuit clerk’s office no later than noon on election day.

Anyone with questions concerning the use of absentee ballots can call the Circuit Clerk’s office Monday through Friday at (205) 384-7268.