How to Register, Vote and Track Your Ballot in Alabama

Posted on 07/27/23 by Catherine Maddux, Elissa Chudwin

En español | Registered voters in Alabama must have an approved reason to vote absentee, and a valid form of ID is required to vote at the polls.

Elections in Alabama in 2024 will decide races for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, state Supreme Court and other state and countywide offices. The primary will be held Tuesday, March 5, 2024, and the general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024.

  • Upcoming elections: Information about upcoming elections is available on the Alabama elections website.
  • Absentee voting: 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 early in-person voting. But if you apply for and receive an absentee ballot, you can hand-deliver it before the close of business on the day before Election Day.
Voters Cast Ballots In Alabama Primary

Voters are barred from citing the coronavirus pandemic as a reason to vote absentee. And litigation over the state's congressional redistricting map is ongoing.

  • In person: Visit your county board of registrars to request, complete and submit a voter registration application. You can 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.

The primary registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, and the general election registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 21, 2024.

Check the status of your application using the Voter View portal.

You can only vote absentee if you have an approved reason, such as planned travel on Election Day, illness or physical incapacitation. Voters with a permanent disability must have their primary doctor sign and notarize the application. A list of eligibility requirements is available at the state elections website. Or call your local absentee election manager for more information.

  • By mail or in person: Write or visit your local absentee election manager to request an absentee ballot. 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, the address to send your absentee ballot and your signature.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail for the 2024 primary is Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, and the deadline to apply in person is Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. For the general election, the deadline to apply by mail is Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2024, and the deadline to apply in person is Thursday, Oct. 31, 2024.

Absentee ballots come with three envelopes: an unmarked one, one with the affidavit and a preaddressed mailing envelope. Carefully follow the ballot instructions. Electronic or remote notarization is not allowed.

  • Seal your completed ballot in the unmarked envelope. 
  • Place the unmarked envelope inside the affidavit envelope.
  • Seal the affidavit envelope before signing it. To be counted, your signature must be witnessed by two people age 18 or older or by a notary public. Place the affidavit envelope in the preaddressed envelope and return to your county’s absentee election manager. Prepaid postage is not provided.

There are two ways to submit a completed absentee ballot.

  • In person: Return your completed ballot to your absentee election manager’s office up to the close of business on the day before Election Day.

Use the Alabama elections website or call your county’s absentee election manager to check the status of your ballot.

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 Election Day.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Use the state’s voter information portal to find your polling place. 

Yes. You must have a valid photo ID, such as a valid Alabama driver’s license or Alabama nondriver ID to cast your ballot. A list of acceptable IDs is on the state 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. Call the secretary of state’s office at 800-274-8683 or 334-242-7210 for more information.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on July 27, 2023. The guide was first published on July 30, 2020. 

This story is provided by AARP Alabama. Visit the AARP Alabama page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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