By: Lindsey Farni, Bryan Gardner and Tamarcus Lang
Many first-time voters have questions about how Tuesday’s election works. Here are big ones:
Q: I’m registered to vote. Where do I go and when?
Go to this state website and enter your address. Voting is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Q: What form of ID do I need to bring?
An Alabama driver’s license or an ID on the approved list.
Q: Other than the presidential candidates, what is on the ballot?
A: Find your sample ballot (each county varies.) Alabama is voting on a U.S. Senate seat plus six statewide proposals. Mobile-area voters are deciding on a U.S. House representative, quite a few local races, and a referendum.
Q: How do I check the status of my mail-in (absentee) ballot?
Check the status here.
Q: When will we know the results?
Every state is different, but Alabama begins counting absentee ballots at noon on Election Day, and the polls close at 7 p.m. With the wide variance of vote counting between states, there may not be an official result for some time. However, news organizations may project winners based on statistical advantages, even though these projections are unofficial.
Q: What are poll watchers and who is allowed to be one?
A: While at the polls, you may see individuals who are not actively voting and just seem to be, well, watching. That’s exactly what they are doing. Poll watchers are appointed by candidates and their primary purpose is “to ensure that their party has a fair chance of winning an election,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In some states, poll watchers can challenge a voter’s eligibility.
Q: Can I take my cell phone to a polling place?
Yes! However, it is illegal in Alabama to take pictures in a polling place and of the official ballot.