Absentee ballots popular in Tuesday's North Alabama municipal elections

Polls will be open for municipal elections across North Alabama from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Posted: Aug 24, 2020 10:25 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2020 11:48 PM

When polls open for municipal elections across North Alabama on Tuesday morning, polling places will look very different due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

City clerks across North Alabama have reported mail-in votes have become more popular this municipal election than in the past. 

"I've always cast in person," Lysle Shields said. "I just feel like it's my duty to vote!"

On Tuesday, Shields will get to fulfill his duty. The Madison resident showed up to city hall to make sure he had the right date and location. 

"If you do not come in and you do not vote, whether that's mail-in or in person, then you are not using your voice," Shields said. 

He said he feels more confident voting in person, but understands those who choose to mail in their ballot. In fact, in Madison, 405 absentee ballots were sent out this election.

In Huntsville, that number is about 15,000. The Huntsville city clerk said more people have mailed in their ballots ahead of time due to the pandemic. 

In the Shoals, in Florence, the city clerk said more than 400 ballots have been returned so far. Then in Sand Mountain, in the city of Boaz, about 60 ballots are in. The city clerk said that is still more mail-in votes than in the past.

Back in Madison, Melanie Williard, the city clerk, spent months preparing for the election.

"We've been working very hard to do everything we can to keep things disinfected and keep them safe," Williard said. 

Face masks are not required but encouraged. X's on the ground will help keep voters 6-feet apart. Poll workers will have face shields, gloves, and masks.

Polls will open across North Alabama at 7 a.m. Tuesday and be open through 7 p.m. Check in with WAAY31 on-air and online for results. 

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