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.
What's new this year?
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.
- Absenting balloting: 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 (but no later than 5 p.m.) on the day before Election Day.
- In-person voting on Election Day: The state’s primary election is Tuesday, May 24; the primary runoff is Tuesday, June 21;
the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
How do I register to vote?
- Online: Use the state’s voter registration portal to register, check the status of your application or update your registration. You will need your Alabama driver’s license or a nondriver identification card to complete your registration online. You may also register to vote while applying for or renewing your Alabama driver’s license online and in person. You can check the status of your application online with the Voter View portal. The deadline to register for the primary is May 9 and June 6 for the June 21 primary runoff. The deadline to register for the general election is Oct. 25.
- By mail: Download a registration application, print it out and mail it to your county board of registrars. Use the state elections website to request an application be mailed to you. Or make your request by calling the Alabama secretary of state’s office at 800-274-8683 or 334-242-7210.
- 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. Alabama does not offer voter registration on Election Day.
Does my party affiliation matter when I vote?
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 a primary runoff election, you cannot change your party’s designation and vote for a candidate from another party in the runoff election.
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, such as planned travel on Election Day, illness, or physical incapacitation. A complete 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.
Online: 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 available on the state elections website. You must print, complete, and sign the application. Then return the completed application with a copy of your valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, U.S. passport or student ID to your county’s absentee election manager.
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, your party affiliation (for the primary only), the address to send your absentee ballot, and your signature.
To vote in the primary, 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.
For the primary runoff, June 14 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot by mail and June 16 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot in person.
To vote in the general election, Nov. 1 is the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail and Nov. 3 for an in-person application.
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.
- Add postage and return to your county’s absentee election manager.
There are two ways to submit a completed absentee ballot.
- By mail: Mailed absentee ballots must be received by your county’s absentee election manager’s office no later than noon on Election Day - that's May 24 for the primary, June 21 for the primary runoff
and Nov. 8 for the general.
- 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 - that's May 23 for the primary and Nov. 7 for the general.
Can I track my absentee ballot?
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 the election - thats May 23 for the primary, June 20 for the primary runoff and Nov. 7 for the general.
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 your polling place. The primary runoff is June 21. 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 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
- 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 May 10 with information about how to vote in 2022. The guide was first published on July 30, 2020.