(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 17-6-23 and Section 17-13-18 , in a primary election or second primary election, this section shall apply only to voters who are voting by absentee ballot pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act in any county or portion thereof in which the nomination for a federal office other than the office of President which is contested by three or more candidates.
(b) The judge of probate shall prepare each of the following:
(1) A special federal ballot to be used in a federal instant runoff primary election. The special federal ballot shall contain a list of all federal offices, other than the office of President, contested by three or more candidates and the candidates qualifying for the election for each office.
(2) A special state ballot for the primary election shall contain the office of President in presidential election years, any federal offices for which there are only two candidates, all state and county offices, the candidates qualifying for the offices, and any referenda to be voted on in the primary election.
(3) A special state ballot for a second primary election, if necessary, shall contain any state or county offices for which a second primary election is required, the candidates qualifying for the offices, and any referenda to be voted on in a second primary election.
(c)(1) The special federal ballot shall permit the voter to cast a ballot in a federal instant runoff primary election by indicating his or her order of preference for each candidate for each office listed on the ballot.
(2) To indicate his or her order of preference for each candidate for each office, the voter shall mark or put the number one next to the name of the candidate who is his or her first choice, the number two for his or her second choice, and so forth, so that a number indicating the preference of the voter is marked or written by the voter next to the name of the candidate on the ballot. However, the voter is not required to indicate his or her preference for more than one candidate on the ballot if he or she so chooses.
(3) The special federal ballot shall be marked as a special federal instant runoff primary ballot.
(4) Instructions shall be provided with the special federal ballot to the voter explaining the special federal instant runoff voting process.
(5) The special federal ballots shall be counted in the following manner for each office listed on the ballot:
a. In a primary election, the first choice preference of each voter shall be the vote counted as cast by the voter. The total count of first choice preference votes received by each candidate shall be added to the count of votes produced for the candidates pursuant to Section 17-13-13 . Choices other than the voters' first choice preferences shall not be counted or divulged during the count or upon the conclusion of the primary election. Upon the conclusion of this count, the special federal ballots shall be secured and maintained by the absentee election manager until the time for counting absentee ballots for the second primary election, if a second primary election is necessary.
b. If a second primary election is necessary, the vote to be counted as cast by each voter shall be the highest designated choice of the voter of the two candidates participating in a contest. The total count of the votes received by each candidate shall be added to the count of votes produced for the candidates pursuant to Section 17-13-18 .
(d)(1) The special state ballot shall be marked as a special state primary ballot or special state second primary ballot, as applicable.
(e) The votes for any office listed on the special federal ballot or special state ballot shall be canvassed, certified, and announced in the manner provided for in Section 17-13-17 and Section 17-13-18 .
(f) The costs associated with implementing this section shall be reimbursed by the State of Alabama as an election expense pursuant to Chapter 16 of this title.
(g) The Secretary of State may promulgate rules in accordance with the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act to implement this section.
(h) This section shall be implemented only upon notice by the Secretary of State to the Code Commissioner that vacatur of the federal court order requiring federal second primary elections to be held nine weeks after the primary election has occurred, or upon entry of a federal court order indicating that vacatur of the aforementioned order is not necessary. The federal court action shall be taken not later than the 76th day before the primary election for this section to be implemented.
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