A Guide for First Time Voters

November 8th is just around the corner and although you’ve been registered to vote for weeks now, you’re realizing you don’t exactly know what to expect. You find yourselves reading over the simplified directions that were in your mailbox over and over again. For those waiting patiently for what might seem like your final rite of passage, here is a voter’s guide to satiate your confusion.

Just Vote Anyways

Am I registered?


Unfortunately, if you haven’t already registered to vote, the deadline passed on Monday, October 24th. If you aren’t sure if you are registered, visit this site to check on your registration status

Where do I go to vote?


This site will tell you exactly where your polling center is located if you are unsure. Don’t be surprised if you are going to a school, home, or community center for your designated polling place. It is completely normal. 

What kind of ID do I need to bring?


Bring any of the following and you will be good to go.

  • Alabama driver’s license
  • Alabama non-driver ID
  • Alabama photo voter ID
  • State issued ID (by Alabama or any other state)
  • Federal issued ID
  • US passport
  • Employee ID from Federal Government, State of Alabama, County Government, Municipality, Board, Authority, or other entity of this state
  • Student or employee ID from a college or university in the State of Alabama (including postgraduate technical or professional schools)
  • Student or employee ID issued by a state institution of higher learning in any other state
  • US military ID
  • Tribal ID

REMEMBER: If you don’t have a proper ID and are denied a ballot for ANY reason you have a right to cast a provisional  ballot and obtain information on how to follow up!


When are polls open?


From 7am – 7pm, you will be allowed to vote. As long as you are in line by 7pm you will be allowed to cast your ballot. I recommend going early because the line will more than likely be shorter.

How to Vote?

How to vote

Don’t worry, it will be on paper. Like three-quarters of the country, Alabama utilizes Paper Ballots. Yipee! Votes will be tallied using electronic equipment. If you are still nervous, just listen to the volunteers and it will all go smoothly.

What will be on my Ballot?

What is on my ballot

Even though we are so are focused on who is going to be our new Prez, be sure to remember that there might be more on your ballot than just that.

Google, being the geniuses that they are, has created an interactive ballot that will show you an example of who you should see on your ballot so you can do the proper research for names you might not have expected.

Vote 411 will also show you personalized information on other important candidates and issues, all you have to do is type in your address and click “On Your Ballot” under “Your Voting Guide.”

How long will the lines be?

Lines might be long voting

Depending on the time of day, they can get pretty long. Plan to get there early if you can. Also, if you can walk to your polling place, be sure to take advantage of that. No traffic for you!

Can I vote early?

Sort of Early Vote

The state of Alabama offers early voting in the form of absentee voting. If you would like to participate you must mail in your absentee ballot application by November 3rd. Then send in your ballot early enough to be received by Election Day, on November 8th. Here is where to mail in your early/absentee voter application and other information.

Will I really get an “I Voted” Sticker?

Voter Stickers Needed for Civic Duty

You better! Because how else will you show off your civic duty prowess for the remainder of the day!

Onward, First-Timers, your ballote is waiting. 

Default image
Vicky Lewis
Senior at UAB, Poodle Enthusiast, Hiking Novice
Articles: 261