Voter Registration: Alabama
Registration Deadline: For any election, the last day to register to vote or update your voter registration is the 15th day prior to the election.
Party Affiliation: In Alabama, the primary election is part of the nominating process for a political party. It is used to select who will represent a party in the general election. You are required to choose one political party’s primary over another because you cannot participate in the nomination of both parties’ candidates. However, in the general election, you may split your ticket and vote for candidates from each political party.
If you choose not to declare a political preference at the primary election, you will not be eligible to vote in any political party’s primary election. You are, however, still eligible to vote on any proposed constitutional amendments that are up for a vote.
VOTER REGISTRATION QUALIFICATIONS
Age: Must be at least 18 years old on or before election day
Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen
Residency: Must be a resident of Alabama.
Mental Competency: You must not have been judged "mentally incompetent" in a court of law.
Felony Convictions: You must not be barred from voting by reason of a disqualifying felony conviction.
OBTAINING A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM
Online: You must have a valid Alabama Driver's License or valid Alabama Non-Driver's Identification card to submit an Electronic Voter Registration Application.
You can also have an Alabama Mail-In Voter Registration Form mailed to you.
By phone: call the Elections Division in the Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) at 1-800-274- VOTE (8683)
By mail: Download the Alabama Mail-In Voter Registration Form and return it to your Local County Board or Registrar's office
VERIFYING YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS
ABSENTEE BALLOT QUALIFICATIONS
A voter may cast an absentee ballot if he or she:
- Will be absent from the county on election day
- Is ill or has a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place
- Is 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
- Is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place
- Works a required shift which has at least 10 hours that coincides with polling hours
- Is a caregiver for a family member to the second degree of kinship by affinity or consanguinity and the family member is confined to his or her home
-Is currently incarcerated in prison or jail and has not been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude
Business/Medical Emergency Voting application can be made after the absentee deadline but no later than 5 PM on the day before the election. Click here for more information.
Get an emergency absentee ballot here.
OBTAINING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
In person: Visit your local Absentee Election Manager (usually the Circuit Clerk) to request an absentee ballot, and provide the following:
-name and residential address (or other such information in order to verify voter registration)
-a copy of your valid photo identification
-election for which the ballot is requested
-reason for absence from polls on election day
-party choice, if the election is a party primary. (It is not necessary to give a party choice for a general election; however, in a party primary a voter may participate in only one political party's primary; thus a choice must be designated so that the appropriate ballot can be provided. If the voter declines or fails to designate a choice for a primary or primary runoff ballot, the absentee election manager may send only the ballot for constitutional amendments.)
-address to which the ballot should be mailed
-voter signature (If a mark is made in place of a signature, it must be witnessed)
By mail/in writing: You could fill out the Absentee Ballot Application or you can write to your local Absentee Election Manager with the information listed above.
The absentee ballot application must be returned to the Absentee Election Manager by the voter in person (or by the voter's designee in the case of medical emergency voting) or by U.S. Mail. No absentee ballot application may be mailed in the same envelope as another voter's absentee ballot application.
The absentee ballot applications must turned in no later than the fifth calendar day before the election.
ABSENTEE BALLOT PROCEDURE
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 the voter casts 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
An absentee ballot cannot be counted unless the affidavit is notarized or has the signature of two witnesses.
SUBMITTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
An absentee ballot 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 hand-delivered, the ballot must be in the office of the Absentee Election Manager by the close of business (but no later than 5pm) on the day prior to the election.
Military and overseas voting: For more info on military and overseas absentee voting click here.
Beginning with the June 3, 2014 primary election, Act 2011-673 requires an Alabama voter to have a specific type of photo identification at the polls in order to vote. If a voter does not have one of the approved forms of photo ID as stated in the law, then he or she may receive a free Alabama photo voter ID from various locations including the Secretary of State's Office, local county board of registrars' offices, and a mobile location to be determined by the Secretary of State's Office.
To download the application for a free photo voter ID, click here.
To see the list of valid IDs at the polls click here
VOTING ON ELECTION DAY
You can wear campaign buttons or t-shirts with political advertisements into the polling place. However, you should not loiter or leave any campaign materials in the polling place.
You can bring your cell phone into the polling place. However, use of the phone in the polling place should not disturb other voters or disrupt the polling place. If your cell phone has a camera, you cannot take photographs or film video inside the polling place. Each voter has a right to cast a ballot in secrecy and in private. The U.S. Department of Justice has advised that photography or videotaping inside a polling place does not serve any useful purpose and may instead actually intimidate voters who are exercising their right to vote.
You can bring you sample ballot into the voting booth. However, you should not leave the sample ballot in the polling place.
Verifying provisional ballot status: Provisional ballot verification
Verifying absentee ballot status: Absentee ballot status
Deciding how to vote: votesmart.org
Polling Place: Polling place locator
Problems with voting: HAVA Voter Complaint Form