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A spirit that is not afraid

Everything you need to know before voting on Nov. 8

<p>A vote here sign sits outside the Dean Road recreation center on Oct. 9, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.</p>

A vote here sign sits outside the Dean Road recreation center on Oct. 9, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

The 2022 midterm elections are right around the corner, and your vote matters. Election day can be nerve-wracking, but look no further: here's a guide to walk you through election day that will make the voting process effortless for everyone. 

There are many essential steps required for voting in this election. The most crucial of those in the voting process is registering to vote. 

Registration ended Oct. 24, 2022, so if you did not get a chance to register, you unfortunately cannot vote in this election. However, there will always be another chance to cast your vote in the future. 

The next step in the process is research. Researching candidates, legislation or issues in your state will allow you to see different political viewpoints and can help you determine which option you find most agreeable.

Ed Packard, a former candidate for Alabama’s Secretary of State, emphasized that “we encourage people to study up on the candidates, regardless of party affiliation. About ten proposed constitutional amendments will be on the ballot, as well as a new constitution itself."

General Election Day is held on Nov. 8, 2022, and polling stations are open in Alabama from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

According to alabamavotes.gov, “general elections are held to determine which candidate… will occupy each office that is up for election. A voter may split the ticket to select candidates from all parties on the ballot or to select independent or write-in candidates. However, a voter may choose only one candidate per office."

If you registered to vote on election day, you are assigned a polling station close to your area. 

This information is located on the Secretary of State’s website, and the Lee County Board of Registrar’s office is available for phone calls to help direct you to the correct location. It handles voter registration and assigns people to their polling locations based on the county commission. 

Every person wanting to vote on Nov. 8 must present a form of identification before they are authorized to vote. An Alabama driver's license, a nondriver ID or a passport are all valid forms of identification. 

Each voter is allowed four minutes inside their voting booth unless assistance is required. If there are any issues with the voting booth or your name is not on the voting list, the chief inspector can call the courthouse to solve the problem. 

If for any reason someone doesn’t own a government-issued photo ID but is registered to vote, two poll workers can positively identify them and waive the photo ID requirements. 

Packard said that “if there are not two poll workers available to identify the person, they can vote on a provisional ballot, and they would have until the Friday after the election at 5 p.m. to get their ID into the Board of Registrar’s office and complete their ballot so it can be counted.” 

Packard also called attention to the new state law that allows people with disabilities to move to the front of the line at the polling stations, as well as providing equipment that is accessible to accommodate voters with disabilities.

“That’s a situation they may find themselves in that might be helpful for them to know that when they get there," Packard said. "They can skip to the front of the line and tell the polling official that they’re exercising that right due to their mobility impairment.” 

To the many Alabama citizens that feel their vote will not count or are indecisive about going to the polls, John H. Merrill, Alabama's Secretary of State, emphasized that “voting is a wonderful privilege… to voice your personal opinion and participate in the selection of our newest elected officials”. 

Packard pressed that “if everyone who felt like you did [that your vote won’t make a difference] and went out and voted, it might be amazing what impact y’all can have. To make an effort, you affirm your support for our government and how we govern ourselves in Alabama and America."

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