huntsville, alabama, city

No way to verify whether Alabama absentee ballots are counted

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Hundreds of Madison County voters stand in line at the Madison County Courthouse nearly every day to exercise their right to vote a little early.

But for those who may not be able to wait in line and have mailed in or dropped off their ballot, county officials say you won’t actually know if your vote is counted.

“If you go to the Secretary of State’s website you can see that we received your ballot. But there’s no real way to see if your ballot was counted,” Madison County Circuit Clerk Debra Kizer said.

She said poll workers look at the affidavit on the outside envelope and would only reject it if a field on the form was incomplete.

“We check to make sure the voter has given us their place of residence, we also check that the voter has marked a reason for voting absentee,” Kizer said.

The voter’s signature, proof of notary, or two adult witnesses must also be included on the affidavit form.

The circuit clerk said if not, the ballot is rejected – and no one is assigned to keep track of rejected ballots. Nor is there a system set up to notify voters about errors with their affidavits or ballots.

“So there’s no reporting of that information once election day starts, and the workers start,” Kizer said.

She said that’s the risk voters take with mail-in or drop off absentee voting options.

Meanwhile, in-person absentee voters have access to poll workers who help them fill their forms out, as well as an in-person notary.

Their ballots are taken and stored to be counted on election day.

Thursday is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot in the state; it must be done by 5 p.m.

Kizer also said the absentee ballot drop off tent option has been extended and will run through November 2.

Read MoreWHNT.comNews, Your Local Election Headquarters

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