BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: Following a vote of the Jefferson County Commission on Friday, the Jefferson County Courthouses in downtown Birmingham and Bessemer will be open for the Jefferson County Absentee Election Managers to facilitate in-person absentee voting on Saturday, Oct. 17 and Saturday, Oct. 24 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The Birmingham Division Absentee Election Manager is located on the 5th floor of the Main Courthouse in downtown Birmingham. The Bessemer Division Absentee Election Manager is located in the basement of the Bessemer Courthouse.
“The Birmingham Division Absentee Election Manager cannot process applications or ballots for voters residing in the Bessemer Division, nor can the Bessemer Absentee Election Manager process applications or ballots for voters residing in the Birmingham Division. Voters who reside in the Bessemer Division must send absentee applications and return ballots to the Bessemer Courthouse; likewise, voters who reside in the Birmingham Division must send absentee applications to the Main Courthouse in downtown Birmingham, and return ballots by mail or in person there,” the Jefferson County Elections Commission stated.
The decision by the County Commission to open the Courthouses on weekends was driven by concerns over the public health and safety of voters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We expect a large voter turnout for the Nov. 3rd election. As such, the safety of our citizens and personnel working the polls remains paramount,” said Commissioner Joe Knight, Chairman of the Judicial Committee.
Commission President Jimmie Stephens agreed by stating, “The right to safely vote, especially during this pandemic will not be denied to any citizen in Jefferson County. We will adhere to the law to ensure that the integrity, security and confidence of the election process is accessible for those who choose to vote in-person absentee.”
The last day to register to vote in Jefferson County is Monday, Oct. 19. To register to vote online, go to this website.
The Jefferson County Commission is set to meet on Friday to consider opening the Birmingham and Bessemer Courthouses on Saturdays, Oct. 17 and 24, to securely accommodate in-person absentee voting for the Nov. 3, 2020 general election.
Friday’s commission meeting is scheduled for 12 p.m. in the Jefferson County Commission Chambers.