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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Continuing Updates on the 2020 Election

Voter Registration in Alabama

Eligibility

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years of age on or before election day.
  • Citizenship: You must be a citizen of the United States.
  • Residence: You must live in the State of Alabama.
  • Additional requirements:
    • You must not be barred from voting by reason of a disqualifying felony conviction.
    • You must not have been judged "mentally incompetent" in a court of law.
  • Check to see if you are already registered.

More information on Alabama voter eligibility.

Deadline

  • The last day to register to vote or update your voter registration is the 15th day prior to the election.
  • Election Calendar

Online registration

Information from the Alabama Secretary of State page

You must have a valid Alabama Driver's License or valid Alabama Non-Driver's Identification card to submit an Electronic Voter Registration Application.

Mail-in registration

Refer to the box below for information about ID requirements.

For general Information, see the website above for online registration.

      Form for mail-in registration.

             Or, a voter registration form can be mailed to you - call the Voter Hotline at 1-800-274-8683, or write:

                       Office of the Secretary of State
                        Elections Division
                        PO Box 5616
                        Montgomery, AL 36103

ID Requirements for Alabama Voters

ID Requirements for Registration

           General information is at: Register to Vote / Update Your Information page on the Alabama Secretary of State website.

Online Registration

Information from the Alabama Secretary of State page.

You must have a valid Alabama Driver's License or valid Alabama Non-Driver's Identification card to submit an Electronic Voter Registration Application.

Mail-in Registration

An ID is not required for mail-in registration, but you may send it in.

For general Information, see the website above for online registration.

      Form for mail-in registration.

      Or, a voter registration form can be mailed to you. To request an application, call the Voter Hotline at 1-800-274-8683  - or, write to:

               Office of the Secretary of State
                Elections Division
                PO Box 5616
                Montgomery, AL 36103

ID Requirements for Voting

Voters have to present:

   any of the following forms of photo ID at the polls:

  • Valid Driver's License (not expired or has been expired less than 60 days)
  • Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Digital Driver's License
  • Valid Non-driver ID (not expired or has been expired less than 60 days)
  • Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Digital Non-driver ID
  • Valid Alabama Photo Voter ID
  • Valid State Issued ID (Alabama or any other state)
    • Valid AL Department of Corrections Release- Temporary ID (Photo Required)
    • Valid AL Movement/Booking Sheet from Prison/Jail System (Photo Required)
    • Valid Pistol Permit (Photo Required)
  • Valid Federal Issued ID
  • Valid US Passport
  • Valid Employee ID from Federal Government, State of Alabama, County Government, Municipality, Board, Authority, or other entity of this state
  • Valid student or employee ID from a college or university in the State of Alabama (including postgraduate technical or professional schools)
  • Valid Military ID
  • Valid Tribal ID

A voter who is required to present valid photo identification but who does not do so will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot as provided for by law.

In addition, a voter who does not have a valid photo ID in his or her possession at the polls shall be permitted to vote if the individual is positively identified by two election officials as a voter on the poll list who is eligible to vote and the election officials sign a sworn affidavit so stating.

More information from the Secretary of State.

Casting a Ballot in Alabama

Important Dates

  • Primary Election:  March 3, 2020   [also the date of the Presidential Preference Primary Election]
  • Primary Runoff: July 14, 2020
  • Deadline to register to vote: 15 days prior to the election
  • Deadline to request absentee ballot: October 29, 2020
  • Deadline to return completed absentee ballot: November 3, 2020 - 12:00pm
  • General Election:  November 3, 2020

 

       All upcoming election dates.

Absentee voting

          General information and application forms

Opening/closing dates

  • The deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is the 5th day prior to the election.

    EMERGENCY ABSENTEE VOTING applications can be made after the absentee deadline but no later than 5 PM on the day before the election, if the voter:

    • is required by an employer under unforeseen circumstances to be unavailable at the polls on the day of the election
    • is a caregiver of a person who requires emergency treatment by licensed physician within five days before an election
    • has a family member to the second degree of kinship by affinity or consanguinity die within five days before an election
    • MEDICAL EMERGENCY ABSENTEE VOTING applications can be made by a voter who has a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician within 5 days of an election.  During that 5 day period, the medical emergency absentee ballot application and the voted absentee ballot must be returned no later than noon on the day the election is held. The medical emergency absentee ballot application requires that the attending physician describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency.  The voter may designate someone to turn in the medical emergency absentee ballot application, receive the absentee ballot on behalf of the voter, and return the voted absentee ballot to the Absentee Election Manager on behalf of the voter. 
  • Absentee ballot application

    To obtain an absentee ballot, write or visit the local Absentee Election Manager (usually the Circuit Clerk), 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)
  • NOTE: for General Election, November 3, 2020 - see new rule below re reason for absence from polls on election day
  • 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, pre-addressed (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
    • WITNESSES OR NOTARIZATION 
      An absentee ballot cannot be counted unless the affidavit is notarized or has the signatures of two witnesses.

      The voter has only the following legal ways to return the absentee ballot:

    • forwards the absentee ballot by U.S. Mail
    • forwards the absentee ballot by commercial carrier
    • personally hands the absentee ballot to the absentee election manager (or delivers by a designee in the case of emergency absentee voting)
  • VOTING DEADLINE 
    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 5 p.m.) on the day prior to the election.

Military voters and voters who reside outside the U.S.

  • Military and overseas voters may now choose to receive their ballots for Federal offices either electronically, by regular U.S. mail, or by commercial carrier. Instructions for UOCAVA Voters.

    Alabama citizens who are members of the Uniformed Services and their family members, merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Alabama overseas citizens can find additional information on how to vote absentee from the Alabama Secretary of State.

  • For statewide elections, absentee ballot applications and completed absentee ballots should be hand delivered or mailed to the Absentee Election Manager for your county.

  • The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is the primary form for obtaining an absentee ballot. Request the FPCA as early as possible from any of the sources listed above. One FPCA will suffice for both primary and general election ballots in federal elections. When you receive your absentee ballot, cast your vote(s) and return the ballot without delay.

    The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by Uniformed Services members on active duty, members of the merchant marine, and their spouses or dependents under the Uniform and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, which applies to general elections for Federal offices. You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities. You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least 5 DAYS before the election. Then if you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB. Your FWAB must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received by your local voting official in Alabama no later than noon on the seventh day after Election Day.

    Your Unit Voting Assistance Officer can assist you with this and other voting procedures or problems.

In order to apply for and receive an absentee ballot, you must meet one of the following requirements:

NOTE: per July 17, 2020 - new rule from the Secretary of State - if a qualified voter determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their voting place on Nov. 3, 2020... due to the declared states of emergency, the voter shall be eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application which reads as follows: " I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls."

    the requirements below do not apply to the General Election of Nov. 3, 2020

  • EXPECTS TO 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
  • EXPECTS TO WORK A REQUIRED SHIFT, 10-HOURS OR MORE, 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.

Application for Absentee Ballot

Polling places and hours

Rides to the polls

Many organizations offer free rides to polling places.  Check your local newspaper or broadcast news station for these organizations.

Help for voters with disabilities

Ballots

Where to get more info on candidates - League of Women Voters; local newspapers (daily and weekly)

Referenda

Sample ballots

  Provisional ballot search info.

Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • Primary elections are conducted to select each party’s candidates in the general election.
  • In Alabama, a voter does not have to be a member of a political party in order to vote in that party’s primary. It is listed as an open primary state per the National Council of State Legislators.
  • In a general election, voters are not required to have a party affiliation.

Jurisdiction

Offices/Measures That May Appear on the Ballot

Federal (even years)

President/Vice-President (elected every four years; next election in 2020)

Senator (elected every six years for staggered terms; next election in 2020)

Representative (elected every two years)

State (even years)

Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries (elected every four years; next election in 2022).

State Supreme Court - Chief Justice ; Associate Justices (elected every six years)

State Senator (elected every four years)

State Representative (elected every four years)

Statewide ballot measures

Municipal and County

Offices (even years)

School Board (County Board of Education") and other boards and commissions (terms vary; some are six years; some are four years)

Mayor

Tax Collector ; Tax Assessor (every six years)

Local ballot measures

Who are the candidates, and what else is on the ballot?

Important Dates

Primary Election: March 3, 2020 (also the date of the Presidential Preference Primary Election)\\

Primary Runoff: July 14, 2020

Election Day is November 3, 2020

 

Deadline to register: 15 days before the election

Deadline to request absentee ballot : Oct. 29, 2020

Deadline for receipt of completed absentee ballot: Nov. 3rd, 2020 - 12:00pm

 

 

Who conducts elections?

  • The Alabama Secretary of State oversees elections.

Voter Bill of Rights

None noted on website of Secretary of State for Alabama.

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

Per Election Laws, Title 17, counties and municipal corporations establish complaint review procedures.

Campaign finance

Campaign Finance site from the Secretary of State for Alabama links to both online and paper filings.

How to contact your elected officials:

Find your elected officials on the interactive map

Members of Congress from Alabama  - Representatives ; Senators - from Congress.gov

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.