- Absentee method: Standard Absentee
- Deadline to request absentee ballots for Election Day 2020: October 29, 2020
- Total polling locations in 2016: 2,566
- Total absentee votes counted in 2016 and % of total voter turnout: 87,553 (4.1%)
Gov. Kay Ivey used her power under Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955 to postpone a primary runoff election from March 31 to July 14. Absentee ballot applications must be in by July 9. The deadline to register to vote is June 29. “This new date will allow for the electoral process to continue in a normal manner. This delay will allow all local election officials the time to assess and evaluate the changes that must be made to ensure the Runoff Election is administered according to plan,” according to a statement from Secretary of State John Merrill. In early May, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program filed a lawsuit against Ivey and Merrill over "the state’s lack of safe and accessible voting processes amid the COVID-19 pandemic." Merrill essentially banned curbside voting, saying that the practice is not authorized by Alabama law. In mid-June, U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon of the Northern District of Alabama granted a partial injunction sought by those plaintiffs, allowing curbside voting in the runoff. Kallon also waived notary requirements in three counties for absentee ballots. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, blocked this ruling on July 2 in a 5-4 decision. Every voter in the state must follow the required witness, notary and voter ID requirements for absentee voting. "Our goal is simple though unfortunately at odds with Alabama officials. We want to ensure that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Alabama voters will not be forced to choose between exercising their fundamental right to vote and protecting their health or the health of a loved one," Southern Poverty Law Center senior staff attorney Caren Short said in a statement after the ruling. Some cities and counties are taking it upon themselves to encourage absentee voting. The COVID-19 Unified Command, which is made up of the city of Mobile, the Mobile County Health Department and the Mobile County Commission, wants people to vote absentee for the July 14 primary. They are urging people to use a physical illness excuse to register absentee. The state will use $7.8 million — $6.5 million from the federal coronavirus relief law and $1.3 million in state matching funds — to “reimburse counties for various preparation and election expenses, including, but not limited to, masks, gloves, disinfectant spray, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, and professional cleaning services to return the polling places back to their safe and sanitary pre-election condition,” according to a statement from Merrill. Also using those relief funds, $1 million will be used to pay poll workers an extra $25 per day. On October 21, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Alabama state officials to ban curbside voting, which had been available during the July primary.