A Note From The Legal Helpdesk: Voter Registration

A Note From The Legal Helpdesk: Voter Registration

Today is National Voter Registration Day! The Alabama Association of REALTORS® encourages our members to make sure they are registered to vote. You can find out whether you are registered to vote in Alabama by using the Alabama Secretary of State’s online search tool, available here.

Here are a few voting laws to keep in mind. First, the Alabama Constitution provides that every eligible voter has the right to vote in the county of his or her residence.[i] Also, under Alabama’s election statute, every voter is required to vote in the county and voting place of his or her domicile and nowhere else.[ii] If a voter attempts to vote in any voting place other than that of his or her domicile, his or her vote must be rejected unless the voter is voting by a provisional ballot.[iii]

Keep in mind that it is unlawful for a voter to cast a ballot during any general, primary, municipal or special election in any voting place where his or her name does not appear on the official voter list (compiled using the home addresses from voter registrations).[iv] Finally, at all municipal elections, a voter must vote only in the voting place of his or her “residence” (treated the same as “domicile”) where he or she is registered to vote.[v]

This means that when filling out your voter registration form, make sure you use your "domicile" as your home address, whether or not you receive mail at a different address. For purposes of Alabama election law, your domicile is where you are living permanently or indefinitely, which is what you must list as your home address when you register to vote. The voter registration form will allow you to put down a preferred mailing address in addition to your home address.

If you have any general questions about Alabama’s voter registration procedures and laws, please don’t hesitate to contact the Legal Helpdesk.

[i] Alabama Const. Art. VIII, Sec. 177(a).

[ii] Ala. Code § 17-9-10.

[iii] Id.

[iv] Ala. Code § 17-10-3; see also Ala. Code § 17-6-5.

[v] Ala. Code § 11-46-38.