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League of Women Voters

Alabama Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Monday, September 24, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 (For General Election)
By Mail:
Monday, September 24, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 (For General Election)
Election Dates:
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 (Cities of Montgomery and Auburn Special Municipal Runoff Election). Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election)
Secretary of State
PO Box 5616
Montgomery, AL 36130-5616
Phone:
334-242-7210
Fax:
334-242-2444

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in Alabama, you must be:

  • A United States Citizen
  • A resident in Alabama
  • At least 18 years old
  • Not convicted of a felony (or have had your rights restored)
  • Not legally declared mentally incompetent by a court

ID Needed for Voter Registration

Identification is not currently required when registering to vote in Alabama. However, the registration form does require your driver license number, non-driver license number or your Social Security number. Be sure to fill provide this information on the form to ensure your registration will be processed properly.

ID Needed for Voting?

You must present one of the following forms of valid photo ID before voting:

  • Alabama driver's license or non-driver ID card issued by the Alabama DMV
  • Any other photo ID issued by Alabama, any other state government, or the US
  • Federal Issued ID
  • US passport
  • Employee photo ID card issued by Alabama or the US
  • US military photo ID
  • Alabama photo voter ID card
  • Valid student or staff photo ID issued by a public or private college, university or postgraduate technical or professional school in Alabama (remember to check the expiration date on your ID)
  • Tribal photo ID card

If you do not have a valid photo ID you  may vote only if you are identified by two election officials in the polling place as a voter on the poll list who is eligible to vote and the election officials execute an affidavit stating this. 

If you do not have a valid photo ID and the election officials are not able to identify you, you must cast a provisional ballot.

Free photo ID available!

If you do not have a photo ID, you may obtain one from the Secretary of State or from your county Board of Registrars. You are able to get a new photo ID card each time you move within the state. If you are elderly or have a disability such that your polling place is not accessible, you are not required to produce identification when voting by absentee ballot.

Registration Deadline

You can now register online. To do so, fill out the information here. You will need to enter your driver license number or a state non-license number when filling out this form.

The registration deadline is 14 days before the election.

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status, please use your state resource or your elections office or board of elections for your county , or your local League of Women Voters.

Once your application has been processed by your local board of registrars, you should receive an acknowledgement from the registrars indicating the status of your application. This acknowledgement will usually be a voter identification card confirming that you are registered to vote. However, if your application was incomplete, you may receive a letter requesting additional information to complete your application.

 

Absentee Ballot Process

The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is five days prior to an election. Ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election or can be hand delivered by 5:00 pm on Election Day.

For statewide elections, absentee ballot applications and completed absentee ballots should be hand delivered or mailed to the absentee election manager in care of the circuit clerk for your county.

If you vote an absentee ballot you must submit a copy of a valid photo ID. If you are entitled to vote absentee through the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act, or any other federal law, you are not required to show the photo ID when voting absentee.

Absentee Voting Eligibility

You may cast an absentee ballot if you:

  • Will be absent from the county on Election Day
  • Are ill or have a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place
  • Are a registered Alabama voter living outside the county, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the United States, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person
  • Are an appointed election office or poll watcher at a polling place other than your regular polling place
  • You are working a required shift of ten hours or more that coincides with polling hours

Business and medical emergency voting applications can be made after the absentee deadline, but no later than 5:00 pm on the day before the election, if you:

  • Are required by an employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on Election Day for an emergency business trip
  • Have a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician

In addition to application information outlined in the next section, the business emergency application contains an affidavit acknowledging that you were not aware of the out-of-county business trip prior to the normal absentee ballot deadline. The medical emergency application requires that the attending physician describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency.

To obtain an absentee ballot, write or visit the local absentee election manager at your local circuit clerk. You will need to provide the following information:

  • Name and residential address (or other information to verify voter registration)
  • Election for which the ballot is requested
  • Reason for absence from polls on Election Day
  • Party choice for primary elections
  • Address to which the ballot should be mailed
  • Voter signature (if a mark is made in place of a signature, it must be witnessed)

Upon receiving the absentee ballot application, the absentee election manager may request additional evidence on the reason for voting absentee if you have a history of absentee voting. The absentee ballot applications must turned in no later than the fifth day before the election.

If the absentee ballot application is approved, the absentee election manager forwards the absentee ballot by U.S. Mail, or personally hands the absentee ballot to the voter (or to a designee in the case of emergency voting).

Ballot Receipt/Return

The absentee ballot can not be counted unless the affidavit is notarized or has the signatures of two witnesses.

The absentee ballot comes with three envelopes: one plain (the secrecy envelope), one with an affidavit or oath, printed on the outside, and one plain envelope, preaddressed (the outer envelope). Once you cast the ballot, the procedure is as follows:

  • Seal the ballot in the plain envelope
  • Place the plain envelope inside the accompanying affidavit envelope
  • Seal the affidavit envelope and complete the affidavit that is on the outside of the envelope
  • Sign the affidavit and have the signature witnessed by either a notary public or two witnesses 18 years of age or older
  • Place the affidavit envelope AND a copy of voter identification inside the outer envelope
  • Remember to place a copy of your I.D. (NOT THE ORIGINAL) inside the outer envelope

Two legal ways to return the absentee ballot:

  • By U.S. mail
  • Personally hands the absentee ballot to the absentee election manager (or delivers by a designee in case of emergency absentee voting)

Absentee Ballot Return Deadline

Absentee ballot that is returned by mail must be postmarked no later than the day prior to the election and received by the Absentee Election Manager no later than noon on election day. If it is hand delivered, the ballot must be in the office of the Absentee Election Manager by the close of business (no later than 5 pm) on the day prior to the election.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

Early voting is not available in Alabama.

Election Dates

The next election is Tuesday, October 9, 2018 (City of Montgomery Special Municipal Election Runoff). The registration deadline is Monday, September 24, 2018.

You can find more information about upcoming elections in Alabama HERE.

 

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in Alabama:

  • You must be registered to vote in Alabama
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must be a resident of the precinct
  • You must state your political affiliation
  • You must complete the required training
  • You will be entitled to compensation

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Polling Place Hours

Alabama polling places are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Time Off To Vote

Time off to vote is available for those whose work hours exceed polling place hours. If not, employers are not required to give time off to vote. The necessary time off shall not exceed one hour. Whether this time is paid varies by town.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

The board of registrars sends a certificate of registration to you that includes the address of your polling place. If you do not receive your certificate, or if you have further questions regarding your polling place location, please contact your local elections official.

Provisional Voting

A provisional ballot is voted the same as any other ballot except you must sign an affidavit attesting to your eligibility to vote. If your name is not on the poll list, the provisional ballot will be counted only if the county board of registrars is able to confirm, after the election, that you are a duly qualified elector of the county.

When you cast a provisional ballot because you did not have proper identification at the polling place, you have until 5:00 pm on the Monday following the election to submit the ID to the board of registrars. If proper ID is submitted by this deadline, the ballot will be counted. You may also cast a provisional ballot if you did not receive a requested absentee ballot or did not vote the absentee ballot.

To find out if your provisional ballot was counted, use your state's provisional ballot tool.

Voting Machines

The voting system used in Alabama is optical scan.

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource, or through Verified Voting.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

Any voter who wishes to have assistance is entitled to help. You may ask anyone (except your employer, an agent of the employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union) to provide that assistance for you. If you do not request a specific individual, a poll worker may assist you at your request. Polling places should be accessible to people with disabilities. If your specific disability is not accommodated, please contact your county's board of elections.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People with Disabilities resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your state's resource.


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Election Day Problems?

Call one of these hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)

 

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