Elmore County circuit clerk and absentee election manager Michael Dozier said Elmore County residents concerned about their health due to the COVID-19 pandemic may request an absentee ballot for the July 14 primary runoff election.

The last day to request an absentee ballot is July 9.

"Normally, the absentee ballot is made for people who cannot physically make it to the polls or are not going to be in town," Dozier said. "We have different times right now. You do not want to take somebody's right to vote away because of the virus."

According to recommendations published by secretary of state John Merrill, voters desiring an absentee ballot due to COVID-19 concerns may select the following option on the absentee application:

“I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]”

The public may request an absentee application by calling Dozier’s office at 334-514-3116, by email at michael.dozier@alacourt.gov or by visiting www.alabamavotes.gov.

“We can mail the application by U.S. mail or email it,” Dozier said. “The application must include a signature and a copy of a driver’s license.”

Originally scheduled for March 31, primary elections were postponed by Gov. Kay Ivey because of public health concerns related to the novel coronavirus.

For voters going to the polls, county officials are working on plans to ensure the safety of poll workers and voters.

Elmore County chief engineer and operations officer Richie Beyer said the Elmore County Emergency Management Agency, county chief financial officer, probate judge, elections and Elmore County Commission offices will make sure personal protection equipment is available along with hand sanitizer at each polling location.

Dozier said the county has already received around 400 to 500 absentee ballots.

"We will get more ballots closer to the time of the election," he said. "In a normal election, we do not start offering absentee ballots until 45 days prior to the actual election."

For the July 14 primary elections, the deadline to register to vote is June 29; the deadline to return an absentee ballot to Dozier in person or by mail is July 13 by close of business.

Dozier also reminded absentee voters for an absentee ballot to count it must be notarized or have the signatures of two witnesses and if delivering the ballot by hand it must be done so by the actual voter.

"If the voter is physically able to deliver it by hand, it must be mailed," he said.