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Frequently Asked Questions-And Answers For Election Day

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What time are the polls open?

From 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

I turned in a voter registration application. Am I registered to vote?

Just because you turned in a voter registration application does not necessarily mean you are registered to vote. Once your application has been processed by your local Board of Registrars, you should receive an acknowledgement from the Registrars indicating the status of your application. This acknowledgement will usually be a voter identification card confirming that you are registered to vote. However, if your application was incomplete, you may receive a letter requesting additional information to complete your application. If you are unsure about the status of your application, you can always call the Jefferson County Board of Registrars at (205) 325-5550.

I turn 18 after the voter registration deadline but before the election. Can I vote in the election?

Yes. As long as you turn 18 on or before election day, even if your birthday is after the voter registration deadline, you can apply for voter registration and participate in that election (as long as you meet other voter qualifications). Please note that you must turn your voter registration application in before the 14-day close for voter registration.

How can I become involved in the electoral process as a high school or college student?

Alabama Act 2019-476 allows eligible high school and college students to intern as unpaid student poll workers. Students must be recommended by their principal or other school official and must be at least 16 years of age at the time of the election.

I have moved from one part of the country to another and want to vote. What should I do?

You must contact the Board of Registrars and submit an update to your voter registration record. Remember, where you live determines who represents you. To be sure you are voting on candidates in the correct district, it is important that you vote in the correct precinct.

I have moved from one county to another and want to vote. What should I do?

When you move across county lines, you must register to vote in your new county of residence. Voter registration does not automatically follow you from one county to another.

It’s the day before the election. I forgot to register to vote. Is it too late?

Yes, it is too late to register to vote for that election. To participate in an election, you must submit your application before registration closes for that election. Registration is closed during the fourteen days prior to an election and on election day.

What if I make a mistake marking my ballot?

If you have not already placed your ballot in the electronic voting machine or ballot box, you may ask a poll worker for another ballot. The poll worker will spoil your first ballot so that it cannot be counted or reused.

Are candidates allowed to campaign outside my polling place?

Yes, electioneering or campaigning is permitted outside the polling place. However, this activity must not be closer than 30 feet to the entrance of the polling place. If the polling place is located in a room within a building, the campaigning must not be closer than 30 feet to the entrance of the building.

Can a candidate assist me in marking my ballot?

Yes, if you ask the candidate to help you. The only people who cannot assist a voter are the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union.

Can I wear campaign buttons or t-shirts with political advertisements into the polling place? 

Yes. However, you should not loiter or leave any campaign materials in the polling place.

Can I carry a sample ballot into the voting booth?

Yes. However, you should not leave the sample ballot in the polling place.

If Constitutional Amendments are included on the ballot, must I vote on them?

No. You are not required to vote on constitutional amendments. Similarly, you are not required to vote in all races on the ballot. Participation is your choice.

When I voted in the Primary Election, I was asked to declare a political party preference. Why is that?

In Alabama, the primary election is part of the nominating process for a political party. It is used to select who will represent a party in the general election. You are required to choose one political party’s primary over another because you cannot participate in the nomination of both parties’ candidates. However, in the general election, you may split your ticket and vote for candidates from each political party.

Can I take photographs or videotape inside my polling place?

Each voter has a right to cast a ballot in secrecy and in private. The U.S. Department of Justice has advised that photography or videotaping inside a polling place does not serve any useful purpose and may instead actually intimidate voters who are exercising their right to vote. However, voters are permitted to take a picture of or with their ballot, as long as they do not disclose the content of any other voter’s ballot or disrupt the voting process.

Can I take a cell phone into my polling place?

Yes. However, use of the phone in the polling place should not disturb other voters or disrupt the polling place. If your cell phone has a camera, you cannot take photographs or film video inside the polling place. Each voter has a right to cast a ballot in secrecy and in private. The U.S. Department of Justice has advised that photography or videotaping inside a polling place does not serve any useful purpose and may instead actually intimidate voters who are exercising their right to vote.

I do not see my question on this page. What do I do now?

If your question is not addressed on this page, please call the Elections Division at 1-800-274-8683 or 334-242-7210.

Source: Alabama Secretary of State

Click one of the links below to read more election stories. 

Vote or Die: Birmingham-Area Residents on What Nov. 3 Means

What To Know About Absentee Voting, Swing States and the Electoral College

Jackie Anderson-Smith: Jeffco Official in Center of Absentee Voting Storm

Black Voters Are Energized. Political Experts Explain Why