Election Laws


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Section 11-46-24

Designating and equipping voting places; election officials; canvass returns.

(a) The municipal governing body may, when it orders an election, designate at least one place of voting in each ward and if the ward has been divided into voting districts then at least one place of voting in each district or the municipal governing body may establish and designate one central place (location) within the municipality as the place of voting for all wards. The number of voting boxes or voting machines as prescribed, shall be placed in a central place of voting for use by the electors.

The municipal governing body shall provide at least one machine or at least one box for the voters of each ward, provided that this requirement shall not apply to any municipality which uses electronic vote counters or tabulators or other devices that are regulated by the Alabama Electronic Voting Committee established in Chapter 24 of Title 17 that are capable of counting the ballots from all wards that vote at the central place of voting.

In each central place of voting where paper ballots are used the election officials shall consist of one returning officer, one chief inspector, who shall supervise the conduct of the other officials and the operation of the voting place, one inspector, and two clerks for each box. In the central place of voting where voting machines are used, the election officials shall consist of one chief inspector who shall supervise the conduct of the other officials and the operation of the voting place, one inspector, and one chief clerk and, for each voting machine to be used at the voting place there shall be appointed two assistant clerks. The election officials serving at voting places, shall be compensated for their services in the same manner and at the same rates provided by law for election officers pursuant to Section 11-46-27.

In wards or voting districts where paper ballots are used in which there are more than 300 legal voters, or where mechanical voting machines are used and there are more than 600 legal voters, or where electronic voting machines are used and there are more than 1,200 legal voters, the municipal governing body may divide alphabetically the list of qualified voters in the ward or voting district into groups and assign each qualified voter a designated voting place and a designated box or voting machine in the ward or voting district.

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require the municipal governing body to designate more than one voting place in a ward which has not been subdivided, nor more than one voting place in a voting district, nor to provide more than one ballot box for every 300 qualified electors when paper ballots are used, or more than one voting machine for every 600 qualified electors where mechanical voting machines are used, or more than one voting machine for every 1,200 qualified electors where electronic voting machines are used. The number of counters or tabulators required in elections where devices are used that are regulated by the Alabama Electronic Voting Committee established in Chapter 24 of Title 17 shall be governed by regulations established by the committee.

In any municipal run-off election involving 50 percent or fewer races than were on the ballot during the general election, a municipal governing body shall not be required to provide more than one ballot box for every 600 qualified electors when paper ballots are used, or more than one voting machine for every 1,200 qualified electors where mechanical voting machines are used, or more than one voting machine for every 2,400 qualified electors where electronic voting machines are used.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) or another provision of this article, the governing body of a municipality may establish in a ward or in the municipality where voting machines are used a voting center, which term means a place in the ward or municipality which the governing body designates as a place where a voting machine or voting machines will be maintained or operated at elections.

The ordinance designating voting centers shall state the location of the voting center and, if the voting center shall be utilized in a ward, then the boundaries of the ward in which the electors shall reside to be entitled to vote at the voting center. The voting list furnished to the election officers serving at the voting center shall contain the names of all qualified electors of the ward or municipality on a single roll. If the roll contains more than 2,400 names, the list of qualified electors on the roll shall be divided into alphabetical sections of not more than 2,400 names per section.

No elector shall vote at a voting center other than the voting center of the ward of which he or she is a qualified elector, but an elector eligible to vote at a voting center may vote on a voting machine maintained at the voting center upon presentation of the identification card issued to him or her by an election officer serving at the voting center.

The municipal governing body shall determine the number of voting machines deemed necessary to serve adequately the voters at an election. There shall be maintained at each voting center at least one mechanical voting machine for each 600 qualified electors, or fraction thereof, or at least one electronic voting machine for each 1,200 qualified electors, or fraction thereof, residing in the ward served by the voting center. The number of counters or tabulators required in elections where devices are used that are regulated by the Alabama Electronic Voting Committee established in Chapter 24 of Title 17 shall be governed by regulations established by the committee.

If all ballots are the same in any municipal run-off election held at a voting center pursuant to this section, the municipal governing body shall not be required to provide more than one ballot box for every 600 qualified electors when paper ballots are used, or more than one voting machine for every 1,200 qualified electors where mechanical voting machines are used, or more than one voting machine for every 2,400 qualified electors where electronic voting machines are used.

For each voting center where only one voting machine is to be used, the election officials shall consist of an inspector, a chief clerk, and a first and second assistant clerk. For each voting center where more than one voting machine is to be used, there shall be appointed one chief inspector, who shall supervise the conduct of the other officials and the operation of the voting center, one inspector and one chief clerk and, for each voting machine to be used at the center, there shall be appointed two assistant clerks. For each voting center where four or more voting machines shall be used, there may be appointed two additional assistant clerks for each group of four voting machines or fraction thereof.

The municipal governing body shall, not less than 15 days before the holding of a municipal election, appoint from the qualified electors of the municipality or the ward officers to hold the election as provided in this article.

The officers shall perform all duties imposed on election officers by this article and in addition thereto the following duties: One of the election officers shall be assigned to each section of the voting list and the election officer shall issue to each elector at the time he or she checks the name off the list of qualified electors an identification card, which shall be presented to the assistant clerk in charge of the voting machine and surrendered to him or her when the voter enters the voting machine. The identification cards shall each have printed on them the words "voter identification card" and they shall contain a space in which shall be entered the signature of the election officer who delivered the card to the elector. The identification card shall bear neither a number nor the name of the voter. Identification cards shall be procured by the same officer who procures other election supplies and shall be paid for from the same funds that the cost of other election supplies are paid. The assistant clerk in charge of the voting machine shall require that each voter sign at the machine a poll list before he or she shall be allowed to enter the machine to vote. The poll list shall be signed or the name of the voter recorded pursuant to Section 17-7-15.

The returns of the canvass as required by law shall be filled out and verified and shall show the number of votes cast for each candidate, the number of votes cast for and against a proposition submitted, and shall be signed and certified by the chief inspector, if any, an inspector, or chief clerk, and not less than two assistant clerks.

Election officers serving at voting centers shall be compensated for their services in the same manner and at the same rates provided by law for election officers pursuant to Section 11-46-27.

It shall be the duty of all election officials to see that order is maintained in the polling place and the inspector shall see that the returns are filled out for each voting machine as required by law and delivered to the proper officials, that the records of the election relating to each machine are enclosed respectively in each machine, and that the list of qualified voters and other records relating to the election in general are enclosed in the appropriate voting machine.

(Acts 1961, No. 663, p. 827, §5; Acts 1976, No. 358, p. 403, §3; Acts 1987, No. 87-581, p. 928, §3; Acts 1993, No. 93-760, p. 1514, §3; Act 2003-400, p. 1150, §1; Act 2006-281, p. 496, §1.)
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