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October 22 registration deadline nears


Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) reminded Alabamians of the upcoming deadline to register to vote in advance of the Nov. 6, 2018 General Election. The last day you can register to vote is Monday, Oct. 22.

The general election will be on Nov. 6, 2018. Voters will elect the officials who will represent them at the federal, state, county, and local levels for the next two to four years.

Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, is the deadline to register to vote in person by the close of business at your county board of registrars’ office (typically 5:00 p.m.). If you miss that deadline you can still register online that day by 11:59 p.m. or get it in the mail and postmarked by Oct. 22, 2018.

The Secretary of State’s office reminds voters that the new crossover voting law does not apply to a General Election. In the General Election on Nov. 6, all registered voters in Alabama may vote for the candidate of their choice even if they voted in the other party’s primary in June.

Voters should also be aware that the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. The deadline to return an absentee ballot is Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.

To participate in any Alabama election you must have a valid photo ID. While a valid Alabama driver’s license is the most commonly used ID it is not the only one.

Forms of photo ID accepted at the polls include any of the following 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.

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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.

Remember to keep your photo-ID current. An expired driver’s license for example might not be accepted at the polls.

The State of Alabama does not have same day voter registration so to participate in this election you must register by the October 22 deadline. This is also the deadline to change your registration If you have moved within the state of Alabama.

Alabama does not have any online voting. You have to physically go to the polling place where you are assigned in order to participate in the election. That is the only place where you will be allowed to vote.
The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

The Secretary of State’s website is a very useful tool to prepare for the election.

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To register to vote online, click here.

To check to see if you are still are registered to vote and have not been purged from the rolls for a failure to participate, click here.

To locate the polling place where you are currently assigned, click here.

To view a sample ballot, click here.

Remember that Alabama allows straight-ticket party voting. You may check the Alabama Republican Party or the Alabama Democratic Party and that will allow you to vote in every race on the general election ballot for your preferred party without have to circle each and every candidate up and down on the ballot. Remember however that there are several constitutional amendments on the ballot this year so even if you straight ticket don’t forget to flip the ballot over and vote for each of the amendments. You can view them on the sample ballot in advance so you will be better prepared on election day.

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

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