Voting in Alabama

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Alabama does not permit online voter registration, early voting, or no-excuse absentee voting. In 2014 Alabama began requiring the presentation of valid photo identification before voting at the polls.

For full information about voting in Alabama, contact the state election agency.


Alabama uses an open primary system and does not require voters to declare a party preference when registering to vote.

To vote in Alabama, the state requires that each applicant:[1]

  • is a citizen of the United States;
  • resides in Alabama;
  • is at least 18 years old on or before Election Day;
  • has not been barred from voting due to a disqualifying felony conviction;
  • and has not been declared mentally incompetent by a court.[2]

—Alabama Office of the Secretary of State

When and where

Citizens can register at any time, with the exception of the 10-day period preceding the election (as well as Election Day).

A citizen may register to vote in the following locations:[1]

  • when applying for or renewing a State of Alabama driver’s license or identification card;
  • at state and local government offices when applying or recertifying for Aid to Dependent Children, Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid, or Rehabilitation Services;
  • at public libraries;
  • at armed forces recruiting stations;
  • at the Board of Registrars located at the county seat in the voter's county of residence;
  • by mail-in form available at Probate Judge and License Commissioner offices, colleges and universities, public schools, or libraries. A mail-in registration form may also be obtained by calling the county Board of Registrars or the Elections Division in the Office of Secretary of State (SOS) at 1-800-274-VOTE (8683).
  • by mail-in form downloaded from the Secretary of State’s website at[2]

—Alabama Office of the Secretary of State

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of May 2015, Alabama is one of 30 states that have not implemented full online voter registration.

Voting on Election Day

Voter identification

See also: Voter identification laws by state

Act Number 2011-673 requires Alabama residents to provide a valid photo ID before casting a ballot at the polls on Election Day. Free Alabama voter photo IDs are available from the state government for those who do not have a photo ID.[3]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Alabama polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time on the date of an election.[4]

Alabama is split between Eastern and Central time zones.

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting


A voter is eligible to vote absentee in an election if he or she cannot make it to the polls on Election Day for one of the following reasons:[5]

  • WILL 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
  • WORKS A REQUIRED SHIFT, 10-HOURS OR MORE, that coincides with polling hours

BUSINESS/MEDICAL EMERGENCY VOTING applications can be made after the absentee deadline but no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election, if the voter:

  • is required by an employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on election day for an emergency business trip, or
  • has a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician[2]

—Alabama Office of the Secretary of State


The absentee ballot application must be received at least five days prior to the election. The ballot must then be returned either in person by close of business the day before the election or by mail. If returned by mail, the ballot must be postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the election manager by noon on Election Day.[5]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Early voting

See also: Early voting

Alabama is one of 14 states that does not have any form of early voting.[1]

Proposed changes


In 2013 the Alabama State Legislature considered a bill that would change the deadline for voter registration from 10 days before the election to 17 days. Jefferson County was exempted from the bill. The bill passed the House, but did not receive a vote in the Senate.[6][7]

Election policy ballot measures

Voting on
elections and campaigns
Ballot measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Elections and campaigns on the ballot and List of Alabama ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked the following ballot measures relating to election and campaign policy in Alabama.

  1. Alabama Constitutional Change, Amendment 1 (2002)
  2. Alabama Popular Election of City Boards of Education, Amendment 3 (1999)
  3. Alabama Secret Ballot Amendment, Amendment 7 (2012)
  4. Alabama Utilities in Tuskegee, Amendment 6 (2008)

Recent news

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See also

Elections in Alabama

External links