Voting in Alabama

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This page has information relating to voting in Alabama. For full information contact your 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, one must meet all of the following requirements:[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.

When and where

Citizens can register all year round with the exception of during the 10 days preceding the election as well as election day. For the 2012 general election, voters must have registered by October 26 to be eligible to vote.

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

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of December 2014, Alabama is one of the 35 states that have not implemented online voter registration.

Voting on election day

Each elector is required to provide identification. This includes photo and non-photo identification. In 2014, however, each elector will be required to provide a valid photo ID.[2]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Alabama, all polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time.[3]

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:[4]

  • Will be absent from the county on election day;
  • Is ill or has a physical infirmity that prevents a trip to the polling place;
  • Is a registered Alabama voter living outside the county including but not limited to, members of the armed forces or a U.S. citizen residing overseas (or a spouse or dependent of such a person) or students at an educational institution located outside their county of residence;
  • Is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place; or
  • Works a required shift which has at least 10 hours that coincide 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 due to unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on an emergency business trip on election day; or
  • has a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician within 5 days of an election.
  • In addition to application information outlined in the next section, the business emergency application contains an affidavit acknowledging that the voter was not aware of the out-of-county business trip prior to the normal absentee ballot deadline. The medical emergency application requires that the attending physician describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency.


The absentee ballot application must be received at least five days prior to the election. It must then be returned either in person by close of business the day before the election or by mail. If returned by mail, it must be postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the election manager by noon on election day.[4]

Military and overseas voting

Citizens who are members of the Uniformed Services or their family members, Merchant Marines, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Alabama overseas citizens (UOCAVA voters) can receive their ballots by either electronic transmission or by U.S. mail.[4]

Early voting

See also: Early voting

There is no early voting in Alabama.[1]

Proposed changes


The 2013 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.[5][6]

Bill Introduced House Vote Senate Vote Gubernatorial Action
HB 162 Feb. 6, 2013 in Alabama House of Representatives Approveda on April 30, 2013, 67 to 34

See also

External links