It’s National Voter Registration Day — are you registered to vote?

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Every year millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. Which is why National Voter Registration Day creates the perfect opportunity for Americans and Alabamians alike to take a moment to register to vote if they’ve not already done so.

State residents have just under 30 days to to register to vote in the Nov. 6 general election — for a bevy of federal statewide and local races — by Monday, Oct. 22. The deadline is set according to the Secretary of State’s office, which mandates the 15th day before an election as the voter registration deadline.

“Since I became Secretary of State, we have registered more than a million new voters who have helped us shatter state records for voter registration and participation in our elections,” said Secretary of State John Merrill. “But we also want our voter rolls to be up-to-date, so we are urging everyone to take a moment to make sure their current address is correct in the state system. We are pleased to participate in this special day that encourages more participation in our electoral process. We continue to work daily to make sure every eligible U.S. citizen in our state is registered to vote and has a photo ID. We want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

How to register to vote

Alabamians who are at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, have not been convicted of a disqualifying felony or declared “mentally incompetent” by a court may register one of three ways:

  1. Via an electronic voter application through the Alabama Secretary of State’s website here.

  2. By using the Vote for Alabama app. Available here.
  3. Via a mail the application. You may download and print a copy of the form here.

  4. In person at your local Board of Registrars’ office. Office locations can be found here. As well as when you are applying for or renewing a State of Alabama driver’s license or nondriver identification card; at state and local government offices when applying or recertifying for Aid to Dependent Children, SNAP, TANF, Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid, or Rehabilitation Services; at public libraries; and at armed forces recruiting stations.

Not sure if you’re registered? Want to find your polling place? Check here.

Voting absentee

Alabama voters who will be away from their county or residence or otherwise unable to go to the polls have until Nov. 1 to apply for an absentee ballot.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, a voter may cast an absentee ballot if he or she:

  • WILL BE ABSENT FROM THE COUNTY on election day
  • IS ILL OR HAS A PHYSICAL DISABILITY that prevents a trip to the polling place
  • IS A REGISTERED ALABAMA VOTER LIVING OUTSIDE THE COUNTY, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the United States, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person
  • IS AN APPOINTED ELECTION OFFICER OR POLL WATCHER at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place
  • WORKS A REQUIRED SHIFT, 10-HOURS OR MORE, that coincides with polling hours

Nov. 5 is the last day for voters are eligible to hand-deliver or postmark an absentee ballot.

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