Alabama Student Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

Voter Registration Deadline: 14 days before Election Day

Registration Deadline: November 27, 2017

U.S. Senate Special Election Day: December 12, 2017

What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

Alabama’s voter registration form asks for your Alabama driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.

Register at School or Home?

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.

School address:

  • Students attending college in Alabama may register at their school address. You must plan to return after temporary absences, like summer break, but do not have to plan to reside at that address permanently.

Permanent address:

  • Students may choose to register or remain registered at a permanent address in Alabama or outside the state. In this case, students may need to vote by absentee ballot.

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

Alabama requires photo ID to vote both in person and absentee. Acceptable photo IDs are:

  • A valid student or employee photo ID card from a public or private institution of higher learning in Alabama
  • A valid Alabama driver’s license or Alabama nondriver ID card
  • A valid Alabama voter photo ID card
  • Any other valid photo ID card issued by state or federal government
  • A valid US passport
  • A valid employee photo ID card issued by state, federal, or municipal government
  • A valid United States military photo ID card
  • A valid tribal photo ID card

If you have to vote a provisional ballot for failure to show photo ID, your ballot will not count unless you provide photo ID to the county board of registrars no later than 5 p.m. on the Friday following the election. Board of registrars contact information is available here.

Where Do I Vote?

  • Polling place locator is available online at
  • Voters must cast their ballots in the correct precinct. Sometimes there are multiple precincts in one polling place, so confirm your precinct ahead of time and get in the correct line! 

How Can I Vote?

By Mail via Absentee Ballot

You may vote an absentee ballot by mail if you have one of the following reasons:

  • You are a student enrolled at an educational institution outside the county or state of your personal residence
  • You will be absent from the county or state on Election Day You are ill or have a physical infirmity that prevents you from going to the polls
  • Your work shift overlaps with at least 10 of the hours the polls are open on Election Day
  • You are an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than your own
  • You are a member of, or a spouse or dependent of a member of, the Armed Forces

Applications for absentee ballots sent by mail must be received by your county’s  Absentee Election Manager no later than five days before the election Any time after that, a voter will need to apply in person at their county election office to receive a vote-by-mail ballot for that election.

Completed absentee ballots must be returned in person by 5 p.m. on the day prior to the election or postmarked no later than the day prior to the election and received by the Absentee Election Manager by noon on Election Day.

Early In-Person

The absentee voting rules allow you to receive an absentee ballot in person, no later than five days before the election. You can return your completed absentee ballot in person the same day. You need one of the excuses listed above to qualify for an absentee ballot.

Election Day

Voting sites will be open from 7am-7pm on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time then you will be allowed

Will voting in Alabama affect my federal financial aid?

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants and Perkins or Stafford loans or your dependency status regarding FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). 

Does being an out-of-state student for tuition purposes affect my right to vote in my college community?

No. You may choose to vote in your college community or back home regardless of your tuition status.

Will I lose my scholarship if I register to vote in Alabama?

Generally, no. If you receive scholarship money from a state, county, town, or a private entity (i.e., an entity other than the federal government) you should confirm that residency in a particular place is not a requirement of the scholarship and/or that voter registration in Alabama will not affect your eligibility. 

Will registering to vote in Alabama affect my driver’s license or car registration?

As a full-time student in Alabama, you may have to make these changes regardless of whether you register to vote in Alabama. For more information contact the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles.

Will registering to vote in Alabama prevent my parents from claiming me as a dependent on their taxes?

No. Students are often told that registering to vote in a different state from their parents will make them lose their dependency status. This is not true. Where you register to vote will have no effect on your parent’s tax status. 

This Guide was prepared by FELN staff who are not licensed to practice law in Alabama and FELN intends that the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Alabama legal professional.

Last updated November 2017