How to Vote in Alabama's 2024 Elections

Posted on 03/26/24 by Elissa Chudwin

En español

Important dates and election information

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  • Deadline to register: Monday, Oct. 21 
  • Deadline to return absentee ballot application by mail: Tuesday, Oct. 29
  • Deadline to hand-deliver absentee ballot application: Thursday, Oct. 31
  • Deadline to hand-deliver absentee ballot: Monday, Nov. 4
  • Deadline to return an absentee ballot by mail: Tuesday, Nov. 5, postmarked by noon
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5

Voting at a glance

  • Voter registration: The deadline to register for the general election is Monday, Oct. 21. Check the status of your registration using the Registration Information portal.
  • Absentee voting: You can vote absentee only if you meet certain eligibility requirements, such as travel on Election Day or an illness or disability that prevents you from going to the polls.
  • Voting at the polls: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Bring an approved form of ID, such as a valid Alabama driver’s license or U.S. passport.

Recent voting changes in Alabama

A 2024 law:

  • Requires a voter to return their own absentee ballot application. No one else may return your application for you, unless you have a disability or require emergency treatment in the five days leading up to an election.
  • Prohibits accepting or providing payment or gifts for managing another voter’s absentee ballot application, including collecting or delivering an application.  
  • Bans providing a voter with an absentee ballot application that includes prefilled voter information, such as their name. 
  • Allows you to receive help filling out an absentee application, but you must sign the form under penalty of perjury. You must also include the witness’s name and signature on the application.

Note that the changes in the 2024 law do not apply to military or overseas voters.

Litigation is ongoing, so check back for updates.

In 2023, federal judges chose a new U.S. congressional redistricting map that may alter some of the candidates that appear on your ballot during the 2024 elections. Find your district at the secretary of state’s website. Litigation is ongoing.

Alabama Senate Race
A voter enters a polling station in Birmingham, Alabama.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

How to register to vote

Register online, by mail or in person. You may also register to vote while applying for or renewing your Alabama driver’s license online and in person.

  • In person: Visit your county board of registrars to request, complete and submit a registration form by Monday, Oct. 21. Or you can pick up an application while applying for Medicaid, SNAP, rehabilitation services and other assistance. Mail-in applications are also available at other sites including public schools, libraries and armed forces recruiting stations.

Registering to vote on Election Day

Alabama does not offer same-day registration.

Check your voter registration status

Check the status of your application using the Registration Information portal.

How to request an absentee ballot

You can only vote absentee if you have an approved reason, such as planned travel, an illness or caregiving responsibilities that keeps you from voting at the polls on Election Day. Call your local absentee election manager for more information.

Request an absentee ballot:

Your absentee election manager's office must receive your application by mail by Tuesday, Oct. 29, or in person by Monday, Nov. 4.

If you are a voter with a permanent disability, you may apply to receive an absentee ballot for all elections within that calendar year. Your primary doctor must sign and notarize the application.

Emergency absentee ballot applications are available to voters who meet certain qualifications, such as a close family member’s death within five days of Election Day. The application must be returned by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4. Include a copy of your valid photo ID.

Military and overseas voters can find information about absentee voting at the secretary of state’s website.

Completing an absentee ballot

Absentee ballots come with three envelopes: an unmarked one, one with an affidavit and a preaddressed mailing envelope. Carefully follow the ballot instructions.

  • Seal your completed ballot in the unmarked envelope. 
  • Put 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, who must also sign the affidavit envelope. Electronic or remote notarization is not allowed.
  • Place the affidavit envelope in the preaddressed envelope, and return it to your county’s absentee election manager. Prepaid postage is not provided.
How to vote absentee in Alabama

Returning your absentee ballot

Under a 2024 law, no one else may return your absentee ballot for you, unless you have a disability or require emergency treatment in the five days leading up to an election.

Return your completed absentee ballot:

  • In person: Return your completed ballot to your absentee election manager’s office by 5 p.m. on the day before Election Day (Monday, Nov. 4).

Track your ballot using the Registration Information portal. Or call your county’s absentee election manager to check the status of your ballot.

Voting in person before Election Day

Although the state doesn’t offer formal early voting, you can hand-deliver your completed absentee ballot to your election manager’s office by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, for the general election.

Voting at the polls on Election Day

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Find your polling place on the Registration Information portal.

Voter ID requirements on Election Day

Bring an approved form of photo ID — such as a valid Alabama driver’s license or valid U.S. passport — with you to the polls.

If you don’t already have one, you can request a free ID at your county board of registrars. You can also obtain a state-issued photo ID via a free mobile unit, either by home visit or group event. Call the secretary of state’s office at 800-274-8683 or 334-242-7210 for more information.

Voting with a disability

Every polling place in Alabama offers accessible voting machines.

Voters who need assistance filling in their ballot can receive help from either an election official or someone they choose, as long as that person is not an employer or union official.

If you have a disability or are 70 or older, you can ask a poll worker to move to the front of the line at your polling place.

More information for voters with disabilities is available at the secretary of state’s website.

Editor’s note: This guide was originally published on Jan. 8, 2023, and has been updated with new information about voting in the 2024 elections.

Elissa Chudwin covers federal and state policy and writes the podcast Today’s Tips from AARP. She previously worked as a digital producer for The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California, and an editor for Advocate magazines in Dallas.

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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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