In some cases, political parties and/or candidates may need to obtain signatures via the petition process to gain ballot access. This section outlines the laws and regulations pertaining to petitions and circulators in Alabama.
In Alabama, both the process to establish a new political party and the process to become an independent candidate require petitions. To establish a political party, a petition containing registered voters' signatures equal to three percent of the number of votes cast for the office of governor must be submitted to the Alabama Secretary of State. The process to become an independent candidate requires the same number of signatures.
All petitions must have a statement explaining the reason for collecting signatures. For an independent candidate, that statement must include the name of the candidate, the date of the general election and the office sought. Petitions must also have numbered pages and space for signers to leave their name, residential address, county and city of residence, voting place and date of birth. That additional information is not required, however. A signature will be deemed valid as long there is sufficient information to determine its validity.All petition signatures must be gathered in person, but the code does not specify circulator requirements. Specifically, there are no residency requirements for circulators.
- Alabama Secretary of State, "Minor Party/Third Party Ballot Access," accessed January 7, 2014
- Alabama Code, "Section 17-6-22," accessed January 7, 2014
- Alabama Secretary of State, "Independent Candidate Ballot Access," accessed January 7, 2014
- Alabama Code, "Section 17-9-3," accessed January 7, 2014
- National Voter Outreach, "Alabama: Independent Candidate Ballot Access (Statewide Office)," accessed January 9, 2014