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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
With qualifying ending next month, the 2022 election cycle will soon be upon us again, with numerous local offices also included on next year’s ballot.
For Alabama, the candidate filing deadline is no later than 5 p.m. January 28, which is 116 days before the primary election.
The Alabama Democratic Party opened qualifying this week, with the candidate qualifying period for the 2022 election cycle having opened Monday, December 6, at 9 a.m. Qualifying for the 2022 Republican primary will open next month, on Tuesday, January 4, at 8:30 a.m.
In Alabama the primary election will be held May 24, with the primary runoff election being held June 21. The general election will then be held November 8.
Offices that will appear on ballots in Coosa County include the U.S. Senate; governor; lieutenant governor; state Senate; House of Representatives; State Board of Education, District 2; district judge, Place 1; district attorney, 40th Judicial Circuit; sheriff; coroner; county commissioners, all districts; and county Board of Education, districts 2 and 5.
According to Judge of Probate and Chief Election Officer Richard Dean, the Coosa County polling facilities are planned to be the same as they were for the 2020 elections. All county polling facilities are handicap accessible and equipped with the Americans with Disabilities Act required voting equipment.
Additionally, to help improve service to voters, the county has new “ExpressVote” machines that can assist voters in marking their ballots. Those machines are ones that voters with disabilities, impairments or limitations can use to read and mark their ballots.
Once those ballots are marked by the “ExpressVote” machine, the voters must place their marked ballot into the tabulating machines to be counted, as all voters mus do. Dean noted that nothing in this process has changed.
Registered voters may cast absentee ballots if they expect to be absent from the county on Election Day; are ill or has a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place; are a registered Alabama voter living outside the county, such as a college student, member of the Armed Forces, voter employed outside the United States, or a spouse or child of such a person; are an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than their regular polling place; expect to work a required shift, 10 hours or more, that coincides with polling hours; are a caregiver for a family member to the second degree of kinship by affinity or consanguinity and the family member is confined to his or her home; or are currently incarcerated in prison or jail and has not been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude.
Absentee ballot applications delivered by mail must be received in the office of the absentee election manager no later than seven days prior to the election. Applications returned by hand must be received in the office of the absentee election manager no later than five days prior to the election.
An absentee ballot returned by mail must be received by the absentee election manager no later than 12 p.m. on Election Day. If hand-delivered, the ballot must be in the absentee election manager’s office by the close of business on the day prior to the election.
Emergency absentee voting applications can be made after the absentee deadline, but no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election, if the voter is required by an employer under unforeseen circumstances to be unavailable at the polls on the day of the election, is a caregiver of a person who requires emergency treatment by a licensed physician within five days before an election, or has a family member to the second degree of kinship by affinity or consanguinity die within five days before an election.
Alabama polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for next year’s election cycle, as per usual.
For more information on upcoming elections, absentee voting, voter registration, and more, visit www.alabamavotes.gov. To register to vote locally or update voter registration, and for other voting information, contact the Coosa County Board of Registrars at 256-377-2418.