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How to Register, Vote and Track Your Ballot in Alabama

En español | Alabama offers several ways to register to vote, including online, by mail and in person. Absentee voting is only permitted to registered voters who have an approved reason, such as planned travel on Election Day, illness or physical incapacitation. And those who cast their ballots at the polls will need to show an approved form of ID.

Alabama's Nov. 8, 2022 general election decided races for the U.S. House and Senate, governor, lieutenant governor and many other state and county offices.

Essential info:

  • Upcoming elections: Information about upcoming elections is not yet available, but will be published on Alabama elections website.
  • Absentee voting: 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 eligibility requirements
  • Early in-person voting: Alabama does not allow 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 on the day before Election Day.
  • Voting at the polls: All registered voters are required to present an approved ID at the polls on Election Day. Find your polling place on the state elections website.
Voters Cast Ballots In Alabama Primary
A voter walks into a polling location in Opelika.
Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Have there been recent changes to voting in Alabama?

Voters are barred from citing the coronavirus pandemic as a reason to vote absentee. And the state's redistricting plan may change which candidates appear on your ballot.

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.

How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot?

You can only vote absentee if you have an approved reason, such as planned travel on Election Day, illness or physical incapacitation. Voters with a permanent disability must have their primary doctor sign and notarize the application. A list of eligibility requirements is available online at the state elections website. Or call your local Absentee Election Manager to find out if you qualify.

  • By mail or in person: Write or visit your local Absentee Election Manager (in most cases, the Circuit Clerk) to request an absentee ballot. You must provide your name and address, a copy of a valid photo ID, the reason for your absence on Election Day, the election for which the ballot is requested, the address to send your absentee ballot and your signature.

How do I fill out the absentee ballot?

Absentee ballots come with three envelopes: an unmarked one, one with the affidavit, and a pre-addressed mailing envelope. Carefully follow the ballot instructions. Affidavits must be notarized or have the signatures of two witnesses. 

  • 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 the affidavit envelope in the pre-addressed envelope.
  • Add postage and return to your county’s absentee election manager.

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 the day before Election Day.

Can I track my absentee ballot?

Track your absentee ballot at the Alabama elections website or call your county’s Absentee Election Manager 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 no later than 5 p.m. on the day before Election Day.

What do I need to know about voting at the polls on Election Day?

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Use the state’s voter information portal to find your polling place. 

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 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.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Nov. 17, 2022. The guide was first published on July 30, 2020. 

Also of Interest:

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