Gov. Robert Bentley held a bill signing ceremony today for a new law aimed at allowing emergency workers to vote by absentee ballot if they are called away to work during an election. The governor said the legislation was inspired after many Alabama utility workers and first responders were called to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy during the November election season. “The right to vote is critical,” Bentley said.
“If I call a state of emergency in this state, if we call these guys up … they have to go. If it hits at a time that we have an election, unfortunately they have not been able to vote,” Bentley said.
The new law authorizes the Secretary of State, by emergency rule, to provide for absentee voting by those emergency workers if they are called away to work during an election.
The press event was only ceremonial since the bill had already become law.