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Everything you need to know about voting in Alabama

(Photo: Flickr)
(Photo: Flickr)

On November 4, just a little over a month from now, Alabamians will file into polling places and cast their vote for the midterm elections. If you’re not registered to vote yet, you’ll want to do that before it’s too late. We’ve put together some important dates and information to think about as the elections approach.

Am I allowed to register to vote?

Well, that depends on how you answer these questions:

Are you a United States citizen? (correct answer: yes)
Do you live in Alabama? (correct answer: yes)
Will you be at least 18 years old on or before election day? (correct answer: yes)
Have you been disqualified from voting because of a felony? (correct answer: no)
Have you been declared mentally incompetent by a court? (correct answer: no)

Congratulations. You can vote.

How do I register, and when is the registration deadline?

October 20 is the last day you can register. Finding a place to register is easy. You can register at any state or county office that provides public assistance. You can even register while you’re renewing your driver’s license or getting a library card. There’s also a mail-in form you can download at alabamavotes.gov.

Where do I vote?

When you register, you’ll be assigned to a specific polling place. Luckily, alabamavotes.gov makes it simple to find out all of this important information. Click on “My polling place and registration status,” and you’ll quickly be able to find your voting location.

Do I need to bring anything with me when I vote?

Yes! I’m glad you asked. You need to bring photo identification to prove you are who you say you are.

Here’s a list of acceptable photo IDs:

  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Valid Non-driver ID
  • Valid Alabama Photo Voter ID
  • Valid State Issued ID (Alabama or any other state)
  • Valid Federal Issued ID
  • Valid US Passport
  • Valid Employee ID from Federal Government, State of Alabama, County Government, Municipality, Board, Authority, or other entity of this state
  • Valid student or employee ID from a college or university in the State of Alabama (including postgraduate technical or professional schools)
  • Valid Military ID
  • Valid Tribal ID

When can I vote?

The general election is on November 4, 2014, and polling places will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Why should I vote?

Voting gives you an opportunity to voice your opinion. These issues aren’t theoretical; many of them affect you directly. If you’re not happy with how things are going, don’t just sit around complaining about it. Get out and vote!

Voting also honors the men and women who have given their lives so you could have this opportunity. Plenty of people around the world don’t have this privilege. Don’t take it for granted.

Follow Cort on Twitter @CortGatliff