First-time voters head to Huntsville polls

HUNTSVILLE - Each year another group of young people become eligible to vote for the first time. And whether you're young or old,  polling sites, understanding your ballot and how to cast a vote can be a bit stressful.

WHNT spoke with local political analyst Jess Brown about tips for first-time voters.

"The first thing that any voter should do, in particular, new voters is familiarize themselves with the layout of the ballot. Get a copy of a sample ballot applicable for your county," Brown said.

He also encourages new voters to take time to read up on the candidates on the ballot.

"The best thing to do is see if they have a website. Take every candidate and see if they have a website and read it," Brown said. "Because sometimes you might choose to vote for a candidate simply based on their personal background. Their personal biography."

But overall, Brown said he encourages everyone to vote because when you don't vote or there isn't a high voter turnout, politicians ignore you. You no longer have a say in how public funds are spent.

There are some voter registration requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen
  • You must be a resident of Alabama
  • You must be 18 or older on or before election day
  • You must NOT be convicted of a disqualifying felony 
  • You must NOT be declared "mentally incompetent" by a court

In the state of Alabama, citizens can register to vote in one of three ways:

  • In person at your local election office
  • Online (with a government-issued state ID or driver's license)
  • By printing and mailing your registration application to your local election office

You can verify whether you are currently registered to vote and find your polling place by visiting myinfo.alabamavotes.gov