Voters in Alabama set an absentee voting record this week, according to Alabama Secretary of State of John Merrill (R).
Over 91,000 Alabama voters have already cast their votes for the November 3 election. It smashed the previous record of 89,000, “which occurred during the course of an entire election cycle,” AL.com reported.
According to Merrill’s office, 162,040 absentee ballots had been requested as of Tuesday.
“We still have three weeks left and we have broken the record,” Merrill said.
Officials believe absentee voters could make up roughly 150,000 of the expected 2.8 million voters across the state.
While Alabama voters typically need to meet special criteria to vote absentee, officials expanded the restrictions due to the Wuhan coronavirus.
Per the secretary of state’s office:
Due to the declared states of emergency, any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their polling place shall be eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application that is most applicable to that individual. In the case none of the boxes are appropriate, voters can check the box which reads as follows:
“I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]”
Voters in Alabama have until Thursday, October 29, to submit an absentee ballot application. According to the office, “the deadline to return an absentee ballot to the Absentee Election Manager is the close of business Monday, November 2, and the last day to postmark an absentee ballot is Monday, November 2.”
The upcoming election is unique in that an estimated 75 percent of voters will be eligible to vote by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic, sparking concerns for both fraud and error.
Critics of mass mail-in voting scored a major victory on Friday after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that absentee ballots must arrive by Election Day to be counted, nixing the lower court ruling extending the deadline by two weeks.