Alabama has a new law that prohibits voters from switching their political party allegiance between a primary and subsequent runoff. Alabama does not require primary voters to register with a political party. The crossover voting ban is an attempt to prevent voters of one political party from trying to meddle in another party’s runoff – although there is a dispute about how much that actually happens. “If you vote in one party’s primary, you can’t switch to the other’s runoff,” state Sen. Tom Whatley, the sponsor of the bill.
Whatley said voters aren’t required to cast a primary ballot to be able to vote in the runoff.
Secretary of State John Merrill said the law will be in place for an anticipated September runoff in the high-profile race for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The crowded field of candidates vying to replace Sessions has increased the likelihood that a runoff will be needed. The primary will be Aug. 15 and the runoff, if needed, will be Sept. 26.