Voter Registration in Alabama
In Alabama, residents can register to vote in local, statewide and federal elections. A variety of different opportunities are available to those who choose to exercise this right in the state. With a valid voter registration, you can participate in the process of selecting government officials and enacting policy changes. However, there are certain processes that must be completed in order to become and remain a legal AL voter.
Specific eligibility requirements must be met by residents for a voter registration card to be issued. When an applicant is sure they meet state voting standards, they can submit a request form via their preferred method. Residents should understand the initial application procedure, how to change registration information and relevant voting policies. Otherwise, uninformed voters in Alabama may encounter issues when voting in the future. To learn more about how to register to vote in the state, consult the following sections.
Who Can Register to Vote in Alabama?
Residents can successfully register to vote in Alabama when all established eligibility rules are met. These requirements ensure voters are legally exercising their right to participate in elections on the local, state and federal levels. The following AL voter eligibility standards specify that an applicant:
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Must be an Alabama resident
- Must be age 18 years old or older by the upcoming election date
- Cannot be convicted of a disqualifying felony for a crime involving moral turpitude
- Cannot be affirmed as mentally incompetent by a court
Residents who have been convicted of a disqualifying felony, but have had their rights restored, are then able to vote. Examples of felony crimes that disallow voting rights include:
- Illegal drug trafficking
Alabama Voter Registration Deadline
Once the deadline for completing a voter registration application passes, residents are not able to participate in an upcoming election. A request form must be submitted 14 days before an election, whether on the state or federal level. To avoid missing an AL voting registration deadline, new voters are encouraged to submit requests as early as possible.
How to Register to Vote in Alabama
The process to register to vote in Alabama can be completed in a few different ways. Residents can utilize the method that is most convenient to their daily schedule. A request form can be submitted online, by mail or in person to the AL Secretary of State.
For each of these methods, personal information and necessary verification documents should be provided as needed. On a voter registration application, the following details must be disclosed:
- Full name
- Date of Birth
- Contact information, including telephone number and email address
- Full address
- AL Identification card number or Social Security Number (SSN)
In order to complete Alabama voter registration online, residents must have a valid state drivers license or identification card. Those who do not have either form of ID should use an alternate procedure for submission. An online application can be accessed and completed via the Alabama Secretary of State (SOS) website. When the necessary information is provided, the form can be sent. The registrar then reviews the application for approval or denial.
Residents can also submit voter registration card requests by mail. An official application can be downloaded online and printed out or sent from the SOS office. Once complete, the signed form should be mailed to a local Board of Registrars office. In some cases, verifying documentation must be provided with an application. If voting rights are approved, a card will be provided to the applicant.
Lastly, you can personally turn in an application to a nearby Alabama Board of Registrars location or the state SOS office. Any required documentation should be submitted with the form. The provided information is then evaluated and approved or denied by the registrar. AL voter cards are mailed to eligible applicants. In-person registration is also available at the following sites:
- Military recruitment offices
- AL Department of Human Resources
- Public colleges and universities
- Public libraries
- Additional government offices, when applying for Medicaid, Food Stamps, Aid to Dependent children and other programs
- Probate judge and license commissioner offices
Early Voting in Alabama
Certain states in the U.S. allow early voting for eligible residents. With this privilege, a ballot can be cast by a voter in advance of a regular election day. Registered voters in Alabama are not able to participate in early voting, as determined by state law. However, absentee ballots may be requested early in order for voters to complete and mail the form within the deadline.
Alabama Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-of-State Residents
Active military and out-of-state registered voters from Alabama are able to participate in elections using absentee ballots. Absentee forms can be obtained from various sources, on the state and federal levels. Similarly to Alabama vehicle registration renewal exceptions made for military drivers’ who are out-of-state, Military members are afforded privileges that allow them to process official documents such as voting information when serving in other locations.
Armed service members should use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and participate in elections. Statewide, this voter registration application is available through the Alabama SOS and local Board of Registrar offices. Federally, FPCA is accessible through the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP).
In addition to U.S. military and their families, the following groups can use FVAP to obtain an absentee voter form:
- Residents living overseas
- Members of the merchant marines and their families
- Public Health Service commissioned corps members and their families
- Members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and their families
Armed service and merchant marine members can also utilize the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB should only be used if a regular absentee ballot is not received in time. This backup form is only valid if it is sent and dated on or before an election day. Furthermore, the ballot must be received by the state within seven days of the election.
Alabama Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
AL registered voters should request absentee ballots as early as possible. Only residents who meet specific standards will be provided with this type of ballot. Having certain illnesses, being out of the country and having to work on election day qualify voters for absentee status. In order to vote using this method, an absentee application should first be submitted.
Upon application approval, voters will receive an absentee ballot by mail that should completed and returned to a participating office. The form must be received by the state at least five days before a regular election day to be considered valid.
Voter Registration Cards in Alabama
For residents wondering, “am I registered to vote?” an official card detailing voter information is provided to eligible applicants. On the card, your full name, party affiliation and voting precinct location is indicated. Your address on file with the Alabama SOS is used to determine the specific site where you may vote. If you move to a new residence, a voter registration change of address should be completed to update this location.
How to Change Your Voter Registration in Alabama
To update or change information on file, Alabama residents can simply submit a regular application for voting. By doing this, voters can avoid complications that arise from having outdated information on record with the state. On the form, you can change your voter registration address or name. Applications can be sent online, by mail or delivered in person at a local Board of Registrar office.
How to Replace a Lost Alabama Voter Registration Card
Obtaining a replacement registration as soon as possible is helpful for voters, because the card states valid voting precincts. Otherwise, you may be left wondering, “where do I vote?” when election time comes around.
To replace a lost registration as an Alabama voter, residents should resubmit an original application for voting. Any changes in name or address can be disclosed on the form. A new card is then sent via mail.