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Bring Photo ID to the Polls Today

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama’s Republican and Democratic Parties both hold their primaries today. The Presidential election is drawing many voters to the polls that normally don’t participate in the primary season so expect long lines. Also bring your photo ID with you when you go to the polls. The State of Alabama does not allow people without photo ID to vote, typically.

voter_id2_200_200Forms of photo ID accepted at the polls are any of the following valid documents: driver’s license; Alabama photo voter ID card; State issued ID (any state); federal issued ID; US passport; employee ID from Federal Government, State of Alabama, County, Municipality, Board, or other entity of this state; student or employee ID from a public or private college or university in the State of Alabama (including postgraduate technical or professional schools); Military ID; or Tribal ID.

Persons without a valid photo ID can get an Alabama photo voter ID card for free from their Board of Registrars.

To apply for the free Alabama photo voter ID, a voter must show: a photo ID document or a non-photo identity document that contains full legal name and date of birth; documentation showing the voter’s date of birth; documentation showing the person is a registered voter; and documentation showing the voter’s name and address as reflected in the voter registration record. A citizen’s name, address, and voter registration status can be verified by the Secretary of State’s Staff, using the statewide voter registration system.

Examples of non-photo ID documents that can be used in applying for a free Alabama photo voter ID card include a birth certificate, marriage record, Social Security Administration document, hospital or nursing home record, Medicare or Medicaid document, or an official school record or transcript.

The NAACP is currently suing the State of Alabama over the voter ID law, claiming that this is an attempt to suppress poor and under privileged voters from being able to participate in the voting process.

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The State of Alabama does not have same day voter registration so if you are not already registered to vote, you likely will not be able to. The deadline to get registered for this election was on February 15.

To submit an application to register to vote, you must meet the following requirements: You must be a citizen of the United States; You must live in the State of Alabama; You must be at least 18 years of age on or before election day; You cannot be barred from voting by reason of a disqualifying felony conviction; and You cannot have been judged “mentally incompetent” in a court of law.

Alabama has two separate party primaries. Poll workers will ask you whether you want a Republican or a Democratic Primary ballot. You have to pick one. Voting in both the Republican Presidential Primary race and in your Democratic county commissioner’s race is not an option. Alabama does not have party registration or closed primaries so you can vote in either Primary no matter what your voting history or normal party affiliation is.

In addition to the party primaries there is a statewide constitutional amendment on the ballot. If the voters agree, district attorneys would have to pay out 8.5 percent of their pay toward their retirement. Presently the taxpayers provide their retirement benefits. According to the Legislative Fiscal Office a yes vote would save taxpayers an estimated $10 million to $15 million a year eventually. Several counties also have local amendments for you to vote on.

The polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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