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10 Completely Archaic Laws Still on the Books


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Vote Fast or Face the Consequences
Voters line up in Birmingham, Ala., during the 2008 presidental race.  Let's hope they already had the ballot mentally filled out. Mario Tama/Getty Images
Voters line up in Birmingham, Ala., during the 2008 presidental race. Let's hope they already had the ballot mentally filled out. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Folks tend to move at a slower pace down South. Call it a lifestyle choice, a means of combating the simmering southern sun or simply an innate inability to move at a clip faster than "leisurely amble." The fact remains that people approach life on their own sweet time below the Mason-Dixon line. Which is why an Alabama law intended to speed things up sticks out like a hotdog at a hamburger party.

There is no time to stop and smell the roses when voting in Alabama. State law requires voters to cast their ballots within five minutes of entering a voting booth. In place since 1961 (prior to sweeping federal civil rights legislation, such as the Voting Rights Act), the law dictates that violators be banished from the polling place. Voters who need assistance can get additional time, but it's probably a good idea to make up your mind about that hotly contested county animal control board race before stepping into the booth [source: Alabama Code; Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights].


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