Photo IDs needed, absentee deadline approaches for June 3 Party Primary

Voters in Chilton County heading to the polls for the June 3 Primary Election will be required to present a photo ID prior to voting.

The Voter Photo Identification Act, approved during the 2011 legislative session, will go into effect in all 67 Alabama counties for the first time with the June 3 Primary.

“Voters need to make a checklist before they head to the polls,” Chilton County Probate Judge Bobby Martin said. “They need to bring their ID and be prepared to declare a party since this is a party primary. Even if you think you don’t need to show your ID, bring it anyway.”

Gov. Robert Bentley signed House Bill 19, and it was assigned Act. No. 2011-673.

According to the bill, an Alabama voter will have to present a specific type of photo identification at the polls in order to vote.

Alabama is among 34 states that require voter identification at the polls.

Voters must show one of the following forms of valid photo ID to vote on June 3:

•Alabama driver’s license

•Alabama non-driver ID

•Alabama photo voter ID card

•State issued ID (Alabama or any other state)

•Federal issued ID

•Valid U.S. passport

•Employee ID from federal government, state of Alabama, county, municipality, board or other entity of the state of Alabama

•Student or employee ID from a public or private college or university in Alabama (including postgraduate technical or professional schools)

•Student or employee ID issued by a state institution of higher learning in any other state

•Military ID

•Tribal ID

A voter who is required to present a valid photo ID, but who does not do so, will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot as provided by law. The voter casting a provisional ballot will have until 5 pm. June 6 to submit a valid photo ID, otherwise the ballot will not be counted.

Absentee ballots are available at the Chilton County Circuit Clerk’s/Absentee Election Manager’s Office, Room 304 at the Chilton County Courthouse, for the June 3 Primary Election.

Absentee voting began April and will end May 29.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is the close of business day May 29.

June 2 is the last business day before the primary election; the last day a voter can return, in person, his or her regular absentee ballot; and the last day to vote absentee (medical and business emergency ballots only).

A photo ID is required for all absentee voters except the following: all military voters; any person with a physical disability that prevents his or her attendance at the polls; and the elderly (age 65 or older) who are unable to physically go and vote at their regular polling place.

Martin said the first two questions individuals will be asked at the polls is to present their ID and declare whether they will require a Democrat or Republican ballot.

“One of the biggest problems poll workers face every election is when people get upset that they have to tell them what political party they are,” Martin said. “In this election, you have to tell the poll workers if you are voting Democrat or Republican. For individuals to receive a ballot, they have to declare a party. People sometimes take it as an offense when they are asked to tell what party they are voting, but this is a party primary so you have to tell them.”

Martin said if individuals do not want to declare a particular party, they can still receive a ballot with House Bill 597 of the 2014 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature which asks voters if they would like to authorize the county commission of Chilton County to levy an additional one-cent ($0.1) sales tax which shall be used exclusively for the construction and maintenance of a hospital in Chilton County.

“If you don’t declare a political party, the only thing that will be on the ballot will be the HB 597,” Martin said. “We would also encourage voters that might be concerned with trying to decide who they are going to vote for to look at a sample ballot, mark their sample ballots, and bring that copy with them to the polls.”

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