Earlier this summer, the Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs encouraged all eligible Texas voters to take advantage of an extended early voting period ahead of the November 03 elections, which begins on October 13th and ends on October 30th.
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The Secretary also reminded all eligible Texas voters to observe the recommended health care protocols released last month by her office, which are meant to help ensure the health and safety of all voters, election office personnel, polling place workers, and poll watchers in Texas.
"Despite COVID-19, the drumbeat of our democracy has marched on," said Secretary Hughs. "I strongly encourage all eligible Texans to set aside time now so they can be prepared to cast a ballot during the early voting period or on Election Day. It is essential to our democracy that Texans are able to safely and confidently cast their vote."
Eligible Texas voters should contact their respective county elections office to view a sample ballot, locate their appropriate polling place, and plan their trip to the polls. Voters can also find extensive information regarding the November 03rd elections at votetexas.gov
Texas voters who are eligible to vote by mail must ensure that their Application for Ballot by Mail (ABBM) (PDF) is received by the Early Voting Clerk in their county of registration by October 23rd. Learn more about requirements for voting by mail in Texas.
Texas voters who possess one of the seven approved forms of photo ID must present that ID at the polls. Voters who do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID may execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration form, available to them at each polling location, and provide a supporting form of identification. In addition, certain voters may qualify for an exemption to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure.
The seven forms of approved photo ID are:
- Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)**
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
- Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
- United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
- United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States Passport (book or card)
**License is not required to be REAL ID compliant
With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, the acceptable photo ID must be current or, for voters aged 18-69, have expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. A voter 70 years of age or older may use a form of acceptable photo ID listed above that has expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.
If a voter does not possess one of the forms of acceptable photo identification listed above, and the voter cannot reasonably obtain such identification, the voter may fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration form, which will be available at each polling location, and present a copy or original of one of the following supporting forms of identification:
- a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter’s voter registration certificate
- a current utility bill
- a bank statement
- a government check
- a paycheck
- a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate
- a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
The address on an acceptable form of photo identification or a supporting form of identification, if applicable, does not have to match the voter’s address on the list of registered voters.
If a voter meets these requirements and is otherwise eligible to vote, the voter will be able to cast a regular ballot in the election.
Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure at the polls. Voters with a religious objection to being photographed or voters who do not present an acceptable form of photo identification or follow the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure at the polls because of certain natural disasters may apply for a temporary exemption to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure. For more details, voters may contact their county voter registrar.
Voters with questions about how to cast a ballot in upcoming elections can call 1-800-252-VOTE.
For more information on voting in Texas, visit www.votetexas.gov