County poll workers will be able to open and count absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 general election beginning at 7 a.m. on Election Day, based on a supplemental state of emergency order signed Wednesday by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.
Normally, absentee ballots would be counted at the close of the election. Secretary of State John H. Merrill said in a news release that the change was a wise decision on the governor's part.
"This accommodates the anticipated increase of absentee ballots and ensures that Alabama will continue to provide timely, unofficial election results on election night," Merrill said.
In addition, student poll worker interns (who were previously unpaid) may now be compensated $50 for working on Election Day.
“Through funds made available to our office through the CARES Act, we are excited to compensate these student poll worker interns for stepping up and serving their communities as poll workers,” Merrill said.
Interested students should sign up online or contact their county probate office in order to become a student poll worker intern.
The governor has also authorized county probate judges to conduct remote training for precinct election officials and poll workers via live or recorded video or telephone call.