Registration deadline changed

Published 3:00 am Friday, September 26, 2014

With the Nov. 4 general election quickly approaching there are a few things voters who still need to register may need to know before heading to the polls.

The original cut off date to register has been changed from 10 days before the election date to 14 days before the election date.

Benny Scarbrough, chief for the board of registrars, said it was important for people to understand they could not register past 5 p.m. on Oct. 20.

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“We are getting ready for it,” Scarbrough said. “A bill was passed increasing the cutoff date from 10 days to 14 days. (Previously) 10 days before the election was the date for the cutoff date. The cutoff date is 5 p.m. on the 20th. Anything that is mailed in, and it’s postmarked midnight on the 20th, we will register those individuals. After that, come the 21st, we’ll stop registering people to vote until seven days after the election.”

Voters will also need a photo voter ID. The law was implemented with the June 3 primary election. The law requires voters to have specific type of photo identification which includes a valid driver’s license, a non-driver ID, a state issued ID, a U.S. Passport, a valid employee ID from a college or university in Alabama, a military ID. If a voter does not have a valid form of identification from the list, they may obtain a free photo voter’s ID card. Probate Judge Wes Allen said the voter ID laws was a way to ensure the integrity of the election.

“You have to have some sort of identification,” Allen said. “This just makes sure that when you come to vote, you are who you say you are. It upholds the integrity of the election.”

The ID card is free and does not expire, Scarbrough said, but a voter can be purged from the registration system if they have not voted recently.

“The ID card does not expire,” Scarbrough said. “In the Secretary State’s office, I think there is a time limit if you don’t vote so many times or for so long, they’ll purge you from that list. If a person has a question about their voter’s registration, they can call or come in and we can tell them pretty quickly.”

The Board of Registrar’s office is located downstairs in the Pike County Courthouse and those wanting to register can go into the office, or Scarbrough said there were other ways and places to register.

“You can go online and register,” Scarbough said. “You just have to print it out, mail it in or bring it in. The health department, places with Medicaid and WIC or other resources, Department of Human Resource or other public agencies can help register someone to vote.”