Vote early, make preparations for Nov. 3 general elections
AUSTIN – Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs has encouraged all eligible Texas voters to take advantage of the extended early voting period ahead of the Nov. 3 general election, which began Oct. 13 and ends Friday, Oct. 30, urging voters to set aside time to prepare so that they are informed and ready to cast a ballot in the upcoming election.
“As early voting for the 2020 general election begins next week, I urge Texas voters to set aside time to make all necessary preparations to successfully cast their ballot,” said Secretary Hughs. “We want to ensure that all eligible Texans are informed and ready to confidently cast their vote when they head to the polls.”
She also reminded Texas voters to observe recommended health care protocols released 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.
During the early voting period, voters may cast a ballot at any location in their county of registration. On Election Day, only voters registered in a county that participates in the Countywide Polling Place Program can cast a ballot at any location in the county. In counties that do not participate in this program, Texas voters must cast a ballot in their precinct of registration.
Voters can check their registration status and view additional voting information online through the Texas Secretary of State's ‘Am I Registered?’ tool. Voters also may contact their respective county elections offices directly for more information about their ballot and appropriate polling location.
Texas voters who wish to cast a ballot by mail must ensure their Application for Ballot by Mail is received by the Early Voting Clerk in their county of registration by Friday, Oct. 23.
Eligible Texas voters must present one of seven approved forms of identification at the polls. Voters who do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID can fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration (PDF) form, which is available at each polling location, and provide a supporting form of identification.
Certain voters may qualify for certain exemptions to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure.
The seven forms of approved photo ID are: A Texas driver’s license, a Texas election identification certificate, a Texas personal identification card or a Texas handgun license, all of which are issued by DPS; a U.S. military ID card with photograph; a U.S. citizenships certificate with photograph; and a U.S. Passport.
With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, which does not expire, the acceptable photo ID must be current or – for voters ages 18 to 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 cannot reasonably obtain such identification, he or she 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; or 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, he or she 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 800-252-VOTE
For more information on voting in Texas, visit VoteTexas.gov.
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