ALABAMA, USA — This year a record number of Alabamians are expected to vote by absentee ballot, as the state has allowed anyone to apply for one this year. But many folks will still be heading to the polls to vote on November 3rd.
The WZDX Voter Access Team spoke with Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill to discuss the voting process, to make sure your voice is heard and your vote is counted.
We wanted to know if there were just as many polling places as in the 2016 election for people to vote at.
"There are a few less, but that really doesn't matter because the people who are registered to vote know, and they have been notified where their polling place is. And those decisions are made at the local level. If anyone has a question about where their polling place is, they should contact their local Board of Registrars, their Circuit Clerk, or their Probate Judge. Or they can go to alabamavotes.gov, put their information in on the icon where it says polling place. That will tell them where they vote, what the times are, the address of the location where they need to go vote, and what races will be on the ballot at their polling place."
We asked how many less polling locations are there this year and why that is.
"I don't know exactly how many less there are, but I do know how many we have statewide, which is 1,980. But I can tell you that nobody in the state of Alabama has to drive more than five miles to get to their polling place."
This year there has been a big focus on getting people to work the polls. We wanted to see if they had enough poll workers lined up for November.
"We have enough poll workers, and we are excited that we have enough poll workers because of the emphasis we placed on poll worker recruitment. We actually have been running a campaign, a multimedia and social media campaign, encouraging people to become poll workers by making their wishes known to the local Probate Judge through our website or through other means that are defined on our website, making sure people are aware of that."
"We also passed legislation in 2019 that allows students who are in grades 10,11, and 12 - sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen-year-olds, to be able to go to the polls and work the polls on Election Day. They can do everything except touch a ballot and determine the eligibility of a voter."
Although the state has a lot of people interested in being poll workers, they are still looking for more.
"Any of your viewers that are interested in working at the polls, all they have to do is contact their Probate Judge, and they will put them to work."
To hear what Secretary Merrill had to say about absentee voting click here.
Watch the full interview here: