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Tuesday's National Voter Registration Day matters locally, too

Vote here

National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday. Photo by Stephen Gross / The Anniston Star

Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, and those who can vote and may not be registered are encouraged to do so.

According to materials provided by the Talladega County Board of Registrars, “In order to vote, a person must be 18 years of age or older, be a citizen of the United States and not be a (convicted) felon. If these criteria apply, then you may make application to register to vote in the county and state of your physical residence. You may receive mail at a different address or a post office box, but you must register at your physical residential address within the county/state.”

There are 12 questions on the paper application form that must be answered completely, and provide a valid state driver’s license or identification number or Social Security number. The form needs to be signed, dated, and submitted to the county board of registrars for approval in the county where you live.

“It is your responsibility as a voting citizen to keep your voting information up to date,” according to Talladega County Board Chair Cookie Adair. “If you move, don’t forget to change your information with the board of registrars.”

If you need to apply to register to vote or update your registration information, you can get a paper application through the Talladega County Department of Human Resources as well as the Medicaid, Rehabilitation and Food Stamp offices. You can also pick up forms at local libraries, the local board of registrars, through schools and colleges and via voter drivers. You may also go through the process while getting or renewing a driver’s license or online at the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office at www.alabamavotes.gov. You can check the status of your current registration at the same site under the “My Voting Information” icon.

Once you have completed whichever process works best for you, you should get a postcard with your name and address, polling site and the list of local, county and state elections that you are entitled to participate in.

One of the more complicated issues involved in registering to vote is whether you are a convicted felon. Not all felony convictions will prevent someone from being eligible to vote, but it is always up to the voter to work with the board of registrars to determine the issue and provide the documentation needed.

You do not have to declare party affiliation to register to vote in Alabama. Party affiliation is only relevant during primaries and run-off elections.

Photo identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, student identification and other official documents are required to vote.

The other big change coming will result from the 2020 Census. The new census means redistricting, a process which should occur late this year. It may or may not impact some voters.

“It is your right to vote or not to vote,” Adair said. “But it is also your duty and responsibility to provide and keep your address and other information current and to be an informed citizen to ensure the integrity of all elections. The year 2022 will see many local, county and state elections. Be sure you are accurately registered. Make your vote count by exercising your right to vote in these elections.”