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Make plans now for upcoming elections

FROM STAFF REPORTS / Editorial 

It’s never a good idea to wait until the last minute to make your voting plans, but the year 2020 puts even more truth to that.

In a historic year of many proportions, it will also be one of the more important election years in recent history no matter your political affiliation—and on many different fronts.

Not only will we cast our votes for important seats such as president and senate in the Nov. 3 General Election, but before that, on Tuesday, Aug. 25, Alabama will hold municipal elections.

Voting in your local municipal election is one of the most important votes you can cast every four years because of the impact it has on your way of living.

For the most part, your city officials are going to make a large portion of decisions regarding the plans for your city moving forward, the budget and many other important choices for the city you call home.

With the spread of COVID-19, this year’s elections are going to be tested from a voter turnout standpoint.

Many just aren’t going to want to get out to vote because of the concern during a worldwide pandemic.

But, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill recently announced that absentee voting would continue to be available to everyone wishing not to vote.

That’s a decision that will last through the General Election, meaning if you are worried about voting in person due to the novel coronavirus, you can apply for an absentee ballot that you would fill out at home and either return by hand-delivery or mail. That’s an option that is normally limited to those with special circumstances or who will be out of town during an election, but now it will be open to everyone.

For the Aug. 25 municipal elections, your absentee ballot application must be submitted by Aug. 20, the Thursday before the election, while your ballot itself must be returned by the end of business on Aug. 24.

For the General Election on Nov. 3, the deadline to apply is Oct. 29, while the deadline to return the absentee ballot is the end of business on Nov. 2.

With those options in place, there is now no excuse for not voting during an important election year.

Shelby County continues to thrive as one of the state’s most successful counties, but that’s only possible with the proper municipal officials in place.

Prepare yourself now by becoming familiar with the candidates that will be on your ballot, make your voting plan and follow through. Your city can only be as successful as the people in office.

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