Alabamians go to the polls tomorrow to select their preferences for Democratic and Republican party nominees in the state’s special election for U.S. Senate.
Ten Republicans and eight Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination for the seat now held by Republican Luther Strange. He was appointed to the junior senator slot in February by former Gov. Robert Bentley after then-Sen. Jeff Sessions was confirmed as President Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general of the United States.
Originally, Strange was not slated to face voters until a special election next year, under a schedule laid out by Bentley. But Gov. Kay Ivey, who replaced Bentley after he resigned earlier this year, moved up the special election to tomorrow.
Polls open tomorrow at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., statewide. You can determine your polling place online at the Secretary of State website or by calling the Secretary of State’s election office at 1-800-274-8683. You can also call your county election office.
The Senate primary is the first state election in which “cross-over” voting will be prohibited. All voters must choose a party preference tomorrow, and if a runoff election is required to select the party nominee, voters cannot switch sides and vote in the other party’s runoff.
To avoid a runoff, the top vote-getter in both parties must receive a majority of his or her party’s ballots (that’s 50 percent of the party vote, plus one more vote). Otherwise, the two top vote-getters in the party primary will square off in a runoff, scheduled for both parties on Sept. 26. The party nominees then face each other in the special Senate general election, set for Dec. 12.
Voters in Alabama must show a valid form of photo identification to cast a ballot. Valid forms of ID include a state driver’s license; Alabama photo voter ID card; valid passport; state, county or municipal employee photo ID; student photo ID; or military or tribal photo ID. Voters who do not have a valid photo ID to bring to the polls tomorrow can cast a provisional ballot. But for that vote to be counted, they must submit a valid photo ID to election officials by 5 p.m. Friday. A voter without an ID can also cast a ballot if two election officials positively identify the voter, and the officials sign sworn affidavits stating so. Learn more about the ID requirements by checking the Alabama Photo Voter ID Guide.