Alabama Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated August 28, 2014
Military and Overseas voters should visit the Overseas Vote Foundation. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Important deadlines

  • Voter registration form: Postmarked 15 days before the election
  • Absentee ballot application: Received 5 days before the election
  • Absentee ballot due: Postmarked by the day before the election and received by noon on election day if mailed; received by 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election if hand-delivered

How to vote by absentee ballot

Register to vote

Recommended: Use our Voter Registration Tool.  Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the Secretary of State (the address is on the form).

You can also download and fill out Alabama's voter registration form.  Mail the completed form to your County Board of Registrars.

Verify your voter registration

It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot.  If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost your voter registration card. You don't actually need it to vote.

Make sure you're eligible to vote by absentee ballot

You may vote by absentee ballot if:

  • you will be absent from the county on election day
  • you are ill or have a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place
  • you are a registered Alabama voter who is temporarily living outside the county (such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside of the United States, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person)
  • you are an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than your regular polling place
  • you work a required shift - 10 hours or more - that coincides with polling hours

Apply for your absentee ballot

Download and complete the Alabama Absentee Ballot Application form.  Mail or hand-deliver your completed form to the Absentee Election Manager in care of the Circuit Clerk for your county.

Absentee ballots for elections more than 30 days apart must be requested on separate applications. This restriction does not apply if you are a member of the armed forces or you are a United States citizen residing overseas, or you are a spouse or dependent of such person.

Receive, complete, and return your absentee ballot

The absentee ballot comes with three envelopes -- one plain (the secrecy envelope), one with an affidavit, or oath, printed on the outside, and one plain envelope, pre-addressed (the outer envelope). Once the voter casts the ballot, the procedure is as follows:

  1. Seal the ballot in the plain envelope
  2. Place the plain envelope inside the accompanying affidavit envelope
  3. Seal the affidavit envelope and complete the affidavit that is on the outside of the envelope
  4. Sign the affidavit and have the signature witnessed by either a notary public or two witnesses 18 years of age or older
  5. Place the affidavit envelope and a copy of your identification (NOT THE ORIGINAL) inside the outer envelope

Mail your ballot back to the Absentee Election Manager in care of the Circuit Clerk for your county.  Be sure to meet the deadline or your ballot won't be counted!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to provide ID when I register to vote in Alabama?

There are no special ID requirements for first-time voters since all Alabama voters need to provide ID when voting in person or by absentee ballot.

Do I need to provide ID when I vote by absentee ballot in Alabama?

All absentee voters must include a copy of their ID with their absentee ballot.  Acceptable forms of voter ID include: Government-issued photo ID; Employee photo ID; Alabama college, university photo ID technical or professional school photo ID; utility bill, bank statement, government paycheck, or paycheck with voter's name and address; Valid ID card (authorized by law) issued by the State of or by any of the other 49 states or issued by the US government; US passport; Alabama hunting or fishing license; Alabama pistol/revolver permit; Valid pilot's license; Valid US military ID; Birth certificate; Social Security card; Naturalization document; Court record of adoption; Court record of name change; Valid Medicaid or Medicare card; Valid electronic benefits transfer card; Government document that shows the name and address of the voter.

I've missed the absentee ballot application deadline in Alabama.  Is there anything I can do? 

In most cases, no.  There are two conditions, however, under which you can apply for an Emergency Absentee Ballot:

  1. You are required by an employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on election day for an emergency business trip
  2. You have a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician 

If you face either of these situations, use the Alabama Application for an Emergency Absentee Ballot.  The business emergency application contains an affidavit acknowledging that the voter was not aware of the out-of-county business trip prior to the normal absentee ballot deadline. The medical emergency application requires that the attending physician describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency.  Mail or hand-deliver your completed application to the Absentee Election Manager in care of the Circuit Clerk for your county. 

Emergency Absentee Ballot Applications can be submitted after the absentee ballot application deadline but no later than 5 PM on the day before the election.

Can I vote in person before the election in Alabama?

No.  Alabama does not allow in-person early voting.

Additional Information

State Election Website: http://www.sos.state.al.us/Elections/Default.aspx
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have voting-related questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines. 

 

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