Do I need to reregister for Alabama's Primaries?
January 23, 2008 1:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm thinking about voting in the Alabama primary. This is something I've never done before. I'm already registered as a voter. I didn't vote in the last election but I did vote in the two (presidential elections) before that. According to UAB's Kaleidescope, I should register by January 25th. Is this the same registration as the last time I registered (for the general elections)? Should I register again? Should I just show up at my voting location? I haven't moved or anything.

Am I right in assuming that I only get to vote for one candidate? I would personally like to vote for two, one for the republican of my choice and one for the democrat of my choice.

I'm pretty sure that's not how it works. I can definitely see how it could be abused. Maybe I shouldn't worry with it?
posted by robtf3 to Law & Government (3 answers total)
Response by poster: Just to clarify, by "I shouldn't worry with it," I mean it probably isn't going to matter what I vote in the primaries anyways. I'm damn sure I'm not going to vote what most of Alabama is going to vote. I still like to think my vote matters in some way though.
posted by robtf3 at 1:09 AM on January 23, 2008

Best answer: If you haven't moved at all since you voted in the 2006 election, then I don't believe you should need to register again. If you are living at a different address than you were in 2006, no matter how close, then you may have moved into a different district, and should definitely check. That said, what do I know from your situation? Don't allow yourself to be disenfranchised by mistake. If you're concerned about your eligibility, contact the Jefferson County Board of Registrars either by phone or in person (I'd avoid the mail at this point).

From what I read, Alabama has an open primary, so you are able to vote either for a Republican or a Democratic candidate. Not both, however. Count yourself fortunate: in many states, you would only be able to vote for candidates in the party you are a registered member of.

Alabama's primary is Feb 5, aka Super Tuesday. Votes cast in primaries on that day will "count" in so far as it's still early in the game. Even if you're not voting with the majority, though, your vote may still count for something. The Democratic primary is proportional, meaning that any candidate who gets over 15% of the vote will be awarded delegates to the Democratic National Convention. So, if you vote for Hillary Clinton and she gets 20% of the vote, 1/5 of Alabama's delegates at the convention will be for Hillary. The Republican primary is winner-take-all, however, so if you're voting for Dr. Hugh Cort, III, he very likely won't get anything out of it.

And I'm of the opinion that you should always "worry with it." It may make a difference and it may not, but voting is a terrible thing to get out of the habit of. Do it every time you are offered the responsibility.
posted by mumkin at 2:20 AM on January 23, 2008

Oops, 2004, not 2006. Or by "I didn't vote in the last election" do you mean you didn't vote in '04? Regardless, the only person who can guarantee that your voter registration is good is your registrar, since it's what they have on file that counts. So, stop by or call them.
posted by mumkin at 4:06 AM on January 23, 2008

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