Monday is the deadline to register to vote in Alabama’s March 3 primary

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Alabama’s primary election is March 3. Voters have some time before they have to decide on their choices, but they are running out of time to register to vote.

The primary ballot includes presidential candidates, senate candidates, congressional and local races, but you have to be eligible to cast a ballot.

Alabama has an estimated 3.5 million registered voters, with 283,000 voters in Madison County. If even half of those people show up on election day, polling sites, election workers and support staff will be plenty busy.

Friday, February 14 is the last day a would-be voter can walk in and turn in a voter registration form to the registrar’s office. Saturday, February 15 is the last day registration can be mailed in. It has to be postmarked by February 15 or it won’t be considered. Registration online is open until midnight on Monday, February 17.

It gets trickier if you’ve moved and the address your polling place has for you differs from your ID.

On election day, you could be sent to your new polling place after starting at your old polling place expecting to vote. Once you’ve made that trip, you’ll be required to fill out a provisional ballot.

The time you could save now by updating your registration online – it requires filling out a new registration form – or double-checking your polling place, can be invaluable and will insure your vote gets counted.

If you go online, go to the Alabama Votes website and use the polling place finder. You can search either by your current address or search based on the information the registrar already has. If you wait until election day, you’ll regret it.

Secretary of State John Merrill says his office of working with their public and private partners to ensure all safeguards are in place, and they are protecting all voters on Election Day.

“One of the things that we continue to introduce and we’ve had a great deal of success with is the electronic pollbook,” said Merrill. “It expedites the check-in process which allows us to make sure more voters get a positive experience when they go to the poll, reducing their wait time 60-75 percent.”

Merill also said they have “solidified the integrity of the voter registration record with dual-authentication.”

The Secretary of State’s office also has a ‘Vote for Alabama’ app if you want to go that route.

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