Election Laws


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Section 17-11-47

Instructions.

The committee and the Secretary of State may draft instructions to be included when an absentee ballot is sent to an overseas voter, including, but not limited to, the following instructions:

"(1) To ensure that your absentee ballot is counted, it should be completed and returned to the absentee election manager of the county of registration as soon as possible, and not later than 12:00 noon on the day of the election.

"(2) The ballot should be marked in secret.

"(3) Only the number of candidates or issue choices indicated on the ballot should be marked. If the ballot instructs a voter to "vote for one" candidate, and you vote for more than one candidate, your vote in that race will not be counted.

"(4) For your ballot to be counted, you must also complete an overseas voter certificate, which includes your signature. Failure to include your signature will result in your ballot not being counted.

"(5) An overseas voted absentee ballot may be returned to the absentee election manager by facsimile, mail, commercial ground or air carrier, or secure remote electronic access, if such option is approved by the Secretary of State. An overseas voted absentee ballot returned by standard electronic mail shall be rejected.

"(6) If faxed, the voted absentee ballot and overseas voter certificate shall be faxed to the number provided by the absentee election manager or to a facsimile number provided by the Federal Voting Assistance Program of the Department of Defense. If the ballot and certificate are faxed to the number provided by the Federal Voting Assistance Program, the voter should ensure that there is sufficient time for the Federal Voting Assistance Program to transmit the ballot and certificate to the absentee election manager so that it is received no later than 12:00 noon on election day. By faxing a voted ballot, the voter voluntarily waives his or her right to a secret ballot.

"(7) If mailed, the voted absentee ballot and overseas voter certificate shall be mailed to the absentee election manager as follows:

"a. Place the voted ballot in a sealed secrecy envelope, which may have been provided in the original mailing of the ballot by the absentee election manager. Anyone who has received his or her unmarked ballot by facsimile or electronic mail may place his or her voted ballot in an unmarked envelope and seal the envelope.

"b. Insert the secrecy envelope inside a separate mailing envelope. If the ballot was mailed to you, use the mailing envelope provided and fill out the overseas voter certificate on the back of the mailing envelope. If the ballot was faxed to you or sent by electronic mail, place the sealed secrecy envelope and the completed overseas voter certificate in another envelope for mailing. Do not seal the overseas voter certificate in the secrecy envelope with the ballot. The mailing envelope should be clearly marked "Absentee Ballot Enclosed."

"c. Mail the absentee ballot to the absentee election manager with sufficient postage.

"(8) To vote and transmit a voted absentee ballot and overseas voter certificate by secure remote electronic access, carefully follow the supplemental instructions given to you by the absentee election manager to ensure that your ballot will be counted.

"(9) It is a crime under Alabama law to accept any gift, payment, or gratuity in exchange for your vote for a candidate. It is also a crime under Alabama law to vote in an election using a false identity or false address, or under any other circumstances making your ballot false or fraudulent."

(Act 2011-619, p. 1417, §8.)
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