Here are the details.
The Jefferson County Commission agreed to open the downtown Birmingham and Bessemer County Courthouses on Saturdays in order to accommodate the high demand for in-person absentee balloting assistance for this year’s general election.
This means both the Jefferson County Courthouses in downtown Birmingham and Bessemer will be open Saturday, Oct. 17 and next Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for in-person absentee voting.
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 November 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.
Last week, Bham Now published a step by step guide on how to vote at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Birmingham to Absolve Parking Tickets
One of the reasons absentee voting has been extended is because of the long lines and wait times voters have faced trying to cast ballots. As a result, during the week, while some voters have been waiting from one hour to two hours to vote, they have received parking tickets (obviously you can’t get out of line to feed a meter – not everyone uses the new online pay system).
According to a October 16 news release, the city is attempting to help voters by absolving parking tickets if they can present an “I voted” sticker to the appropriate authorities.
Here is the city’s statement and directions:
The City of Birmingham is working to resolve parking tickets people recently obtained while voting absentee at the Jefferson County Courthouse. Municipal Court must have the person’s parking ticket and the “I Voted’’ sticker the person received while at the courthouse. The date the ticket was issued must have been issued during the absentee voting period this year.
Once the ticket is presented to Birmingham Municipal Court officials, the ticket will be reviewed for processing. If the ticket was issued during this year’s absentee voting period for the Nov. 3 election, it will be dismissed. This applies ONLY for parking tickets.
The resident should choose one of the following methods to handle the ticket with Birmingham Municipal Court:
- Bring ticket and the “I Voted’’ sticker to Birmingham Municipal Court-David Vann Building, 801 – 17th St. North
- Mail ticket and the “I Voted’’ sticker to Birmingham Municipal Court – David Vann Building, 801 – 17th St. North
- Email a scanned copy of the ticket and the “I Voted” sticker or a picture of the ticket and the “I Voted” sticker to BMCCustomerservice@birminghamal.gov . The ticket number must be legible, not covered.
Municipal Court is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The good news – both the County and city of Birmingham are responding to people’s needs and being proactive to encourage voting. Stay tuned to Bham Now if news about voting breaks.