2016 General Election

How Long Should it Take to Vote?

So how long should it take you to read the ballot and vote – and is there a time limit?

Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King said while there’s no set time limit for voters to cast their ballots, it is not expected to take more than 12 minutes.

“Normally, it’s suggested statewide that voters can read a ballot and vote in five to seven minutes,” said. “But that’s for a one-page ballot. We have a two-page ballot.”

King said he is familiar with the ballot and it took him six or seven minutes to read through it and cast his vote this morning in Vestavia Hills.

“Time limits are not something we talked about (with poll workers) during election school but I think 10, 11, 12 minutes is probably sufficient time to read everything on the ballot and vote,” King said. “Again, there’s not a set time limit but 10-12 minutes is the preferred way to do it.”

King said he hasn’t received any calls about poll workers rushing voters in Jefferson County to finish their ballots in 10 minutes.

He said the calls he’s received have been from poll workers requesting more pens and Election Day supplies.

King said he heard reports of long lines from across the county this morning.

“I expect another big push starting around 3 or 4 this afternoon,” he said.

This tip came originally from Electionland, a ProPublica project that will cover access to the ballot and problems that prevent people from exercising their right to vote during the 2016 election.