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How to Vote in Alabama’s 2022 Elections

En español | Alabama’s May 24 primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballots for seats in the U.S. House and Senate, governor, lieutenant governor and many other state and county offices. Note that you can no longer cite the coronavirus pandemic as a reason to vote absentee.

  • You can vote absentee only if you’re traveling on Election Day, can’t make it to the polls because of illness or meet other strict eligibility requirements
  • There is no in-person early voting. But if you apply for and receive an absentee ballot, you can hand-deliver it any time before the close of business (but no later than 5 p.m.) on the day before Election Day.
  • The state’s primary election is Tuesday, May 24; the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How do I register to vote?

  • In person: Visit your county board of registrars to request a voter registration application, fill it out and submit it at the office. You can also pick up a registration form while applying for food stamps, Medicaid or rehabilitation services. Mail-in forms are also available at probate judge and license commissioner offices, colleges, universities, public schools and libraries.

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote?

Voters Cast Ballots In Alabama Primary
A voter walks into a polling location in Opelika.
Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The only time you are required to designate a political party is when you vote in a primary election. If you don’t declare a party, you’ll be provided an issues-only ballot. If there’s primary runoff election, you cannot change your party’s designation and vote for a candidate from another party.

How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

You can only vote absentee if you have an approved reason, like traveling on Election Day. The application for an absentee ballot and the address for your county’s absentee election manager’s office, where you send the completed ballot, are on the secretary of state’s Elections website. 

You must print and complete the application and include a copy of your valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, U.S. passport or student ID. May 17 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot by mail and May 19 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot in person to vote in the primary.

How do I fill out the absentee ballot?

Absentee ballots come with three envelopes: one that’s unmarked, one with an affidavit printed on the outside, and one pre-addressed envelope in which to return your ballot. 

  • Mark your ballot and seal it in the unmarked envelope. 
  • Place the plain envelope inside the affidavit envelope.
  • Seal the affidavit envelope and sign it. To be counted, your signature must be witnessed by two people age 18 or older or by a notary public. Electronic or remote notarization is not permitted.
  • Place affidavit envelope in the pre-addressed envelope.

There are two ways to submit a completed absentee ballot.

  • In person: Return your completed ballot to your county absentee election manager’s office up to the close of business, but no later than 5 p.m., on the day before the election (May 23). 

Can I track my absentee ballot?

Yes, you can track your absentee ballot on the Alabama elections website or call the secretary of state’s Elections Division at 334-242-7210 to check its status.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Alabama doesn’t technically offer early voting. But if you apply for and receive an absentee ballot before Election Day, you can hand-deliver it to your absentee election manager’s office any time before the close of business (but no later than 5 p.m.) on the day before the election (May 23).

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The primary elections are Tuesday, May 24. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Use the state’s voter information portal to find a polling place near you.  The general election is Nov. 8. 

Do I need identification to vote?

Yes. You must have a valid photo ID, such as a current Alabama driver’s license or Alabama nondriver ID, to register to vote and cast your ballot in Alabama. A list of acceptable IDs is on the state’s Elections website. If you don’t have a valid photo ID, you can request a free one at your county board of registrars. You can also request a home visit or group event to obtain a state-issued photo ID via a free mobile unit or call the secretary of state’s office at 800-274-8683 or 334-242-7210.

What races are on the ballot?

  • U.S. Senate: the seat of Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who is not seeking reelection
  • U.S. House: all 7 seats 
  • Governor 
  • Lieutenant Governor 
  • Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, two seats on the Alabama Supreme Court, four seats on the State Board of Education, and various district judges and county offices
  • State Senate: all 35 seats 
  • State House: all 105 seats 

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Oct. 15 with information about how to vote in 2022. The guide was first published on July 30, 2020. Voting rules, procedures and candidates may change before Election Day. We’ll keep this guide updated, so bookmark this page and check back. 


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