Mover's Guide: Alabama

August 10, 2010

Elections Division: 334-242-7210

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to Alabama from another state, you must register to vote in Alabama to be able to vote.[1]  The last day to register in time to vote in the next election is ten days before the election.[2]

If you moved from out of state, you may register to vote the same day you become a resident of the State of Alabama.[3]  Under federal law, if you move within 30 days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.

I moved within Alabama.

If you moved to a new address within the same county, you should notify the County Board of Registrars in writing or in person to update your registration records.[4]

If you moved to a new address in a different county, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.  That form is available here: http://www.sos.state.al.us/Elections/GetRegForm.aspx

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

If you moved to a new address within the same country since you last voted, you should contact your local election office to determine whether your registration is current and to find out the location of your current polling place. Election officials may have changed your registration to your new address even if you did not notify the election official about the move.  If your registration information has been changed to your current address, you should go to the polling place associated with that address to vote.

Many registered Alabama voters who move are still entitled to cast a ballot that will be counted — even if they did not notify the appropriate election official about their move before Election Day and the election official has not changed their registration.

Scenario One: New Address, but Same Polling Place

If you moved to a new address that is covered by the same polling place as your old address, you can vote a regular ballot at that polling place after confirming your change of address at the polling place.  This is true regardless of how close to the election you moved.[5]  

Scenario Two: New Address in Same County but New Polling Place

If you moved to a new address within the same county but with a different polling place, you are entitled to vote a provisional ballot at the polling place associated with your new address.[6] The provisional ballot will be counted if the county clerk can determine that you registered to vote in the state and reside in the area covered by that polling place.

Your provisional ballot will be counted if the board of registrars verifies that you are registered to vote in the county and live at an address covered by the polling place where your ballot was cast.[7]

Scenario Three: New Address in New County

If you moved to a new address that is in a different county, you must register to vote at your new address before the registration deadline.[8]


[1] See Ala. Const. amend. DLXXIX; Ala. Code § 17-3-30 (2010).

[2] Ala. Code § 17-3-50.  But see Id. § 17-3-50(b) (stating that in counties with fewer than 600,000 people, local law governs voter registration deadlines).

[3] Hadnott v. Amos, 320 F. Supp. 107 (M.D. Ala. 1970) (striking down an Alabama constitutional amendment imposing residency requirements for voting).

[4] Ala. Code § 17-3-56.

[5] 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6(e)(1) (2010).

[6] See Ala. Code §§ 17-3-56, 17-9-10, 17-10-2(a), (f) (2010).

[7] Ala. Code § 17-10-2(e)–(f).

[8] Ala. Code § 17-3-56.