JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson said she wants to see the Jefferson County absentee office open Saturday and Oct. 24 for in-person absentee voting.
However, officials at the absentee office said they will not be open on Saturday, despite an event Commissioner Tyson has been promoting. The event “Souls to the Polls” is being organized by Tyson and other church leaders, which gives the option for voters to cast their ballot on Saturday at the courthouse between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Commissioner Tyson said Saturday voting would benefit everyone.
“That is a part of voter suppression. It doesn’t matter where it’s coming from. It doesn’t matter what color it is. If your foot is on my vote, I want it off. I want a fair opportunity to vote,” Tyson said.
The Jefferson County Commission is holding an emergency meeting at noon Friday to discuss the possibility of accommodating in-person absentee voting Saturday.
Tyson said she understands that the absentee office has been overwhelmed the past few weeks, but believes voters need the opportunity to vote on the weekend.
“Most people who work service jobs work various hours. They work past 7 o’clock. They work on weekends. We don’t have good transportation here so if you look at how to give churches an opportunity to bring people to the polls who don’t have transportation, it’ll give people who work the opportunity to come out and vote on those two Saturdays,” she said.
Tyson said that if the absentee office refused to open on Saturday, they will be taking absentee applications from citizens and providing stamps for them to mail their ballot at the downtown post office.
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