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November 1, 2012
Secretary Chapman Extends Absentee Application Deadline for Military Voters Responding to Storm

Secretary of State Beth Chapman has filed an emergency rule today to extend the deadline for applying for an absentee ballot for members of our military and National Guard who may be deployed in response to superstorm Sandy.

“These soldiers put the protection of others before their own lives and it is the least that we can do to ensure they have time to cast their ballots in this election.  The law gives me that ability; so we are moving forward with giving extra time where we can for the military voters serving those devastated areas in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.”  Secretary Chapman said.

The law only extends to military and overseas voters and not private citizens who may also be responding to the storm this week.  “It is unfortunate that we cannot do this for every responder to this natural disaster, however, we must follow what the law allows at this point.”  Secretary Chapman explained.

For those individuals voting pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) who have been ordered to go outside the State of Alabama to assist with natural disaster relief related to Hurricane Sandy, the deadline for receipt of an absentee ballot application is extended to Monday, November 5, 2012.   Because of the close proximity to Election Day, the UOCAVA voters can fax or email those requests to their local absentee election manager.  Those voters must request electronic transmission of the absentee ballot and provide an email address.

The voted ballots must be postmarked by November 6th and the counties will be able to receive those ballots to be counted until November 16th.  

“I urge all military members deployed to serve the storm victims to act quickly and request a ballot immediately,” Secretary Chapman said.

If a voter serving in the military who has been deployed to work with the victims of Storm Sandy has a question about this extension or how it may apply to them, they can contact the absentee election manager in their county or the Secretary of State’s office.  Contact numbers and information can be found by visiting or by calling 1-800-274-VOTE. 


For more information, visit Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s Web Site: