Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today reminded all eligible Texans to register to vote by October 9 and to make all necessary preparations to be able to cast a ballot in the upcoming November 6 General Election.
Secretary Pablos encouraged all eligible Texas voters to ensure that they:
(1) are registered to vote in their county of residence
(2) are aware of what they need to bring to the polls in order to cast a ballot.
Additionally, Secretary Pablos urged voters to contact their respective county elections offices to become familiar with their ballot, locate their appropriate polling location, and plan their trip to the polls.
With the October 9 voter registration deadline just over a month away, Secretary Pablos issued one last call-to-action by urging Texans to register and take the necessary steps to be prepared to vote.
“Don’t wait until the last minute, make sure you are registered well in advance of the October 9th voter registration deadline so that you cast a ballot in the November General Election,” Secretary Pablos said. “The Texas Secretary of State’s office wants to ensure that all eligible Texans can cast their ballots with confidence this November, and the first step in doing so is to make sure you are registered and ready to make your trip to the polls.”
Eligible Texans who are not already registered to vote may complete and print a voter registration application here or request an application from their county elections administrator. Once completed, eligible Texas voters may submit the application to the county voter registrar in their county of residence. Completed voter registration applications must be postmarked by October 9th, 2018 in order to be accepted. Texans may check to see if they are already registered to vote through the Texas Secretary of State’s website or by visiting www.votetexas.gov.
“Prepare yourself, inform yourself, and empower yourself,” Secretary Pablos said. “As a Texas voter, you can set an example for your fellow Texans by showing your commitment to civic engagement. We will continue working with election officials across the Lone Star State to make sure all eligible Texans have the information and resources they need to register to vote and make their voices heard.”
To avoid long waiting times on Election Day, the Texas Secretary of State encourages eligible registered voters to vote during the early voting period from Monday, October 22nd to Friday, November 2nd, 2018. During the early voting period, Texas voters can cast a ballot at any location in their county of registration.
Additionally, Secretary Pablos has proclaimed the first Friday of the early voting period (October 26th) to be Student Voting Day in the State of Texas, when all eligible Texas students are encouraged to cast their ballot in their county’s nearest polling location during times that do not conflict with their scholastic obligations.
Secretary Pablos also reminds Texas voters who possess one of the seven approved forms of photo ID that they 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 (PDF), available to them at each polling location, and provide a supporting form of identification. Additionally, certain voters may qualify for certain exemptions to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration (PDF) 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; and
- United States Passport (book or card)
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 (PDF), 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, 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 Texas voters affected by Hurricane Harvey, click here for additional information and resources.