Cross over voting: What to know before you hit the polls

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) -- As you’re preparing to head to the polls, it’s time to make sure you’re set with your party decision. That’s because while Alabama is an semi-open primary state, once you pick a party, you need to stick with it until November.

An important thing to remember is crossover voting does not affect the general election, just the primaries and runoffs. So, what does this mean for the average voter?

Let's say you vote for a Democratic candidate for president Tuesday. If you do that, you select the Democratic ballot at your polling place.

Your name is then marked as having voted Democrat. That means that if the Republican senate race goes into a runoff in a couple weeks, you cannot vote in that runoff.

It all resets in November and you can vote for whoever you want to at that point.

The idea behind this law was to discourage one party from interfering in another party’s races.

We talked with Kathy Jones, she’s the president of the League of Women Voters of the Tennessee Valley. She says she believes it makes some people nervous about voting in the primaries.

“It is kind of discouraging or surpassing of votes because people are worried about breaking the law. And so they need to understand that it's not hard. But they need to be aware that they will come after you if you try to vote in another party,” Jones said.

If you’re still undecided on these candidates, you can learn more about them from a League of Women Voters questionnaire.

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