The below Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been compiled with the November 8, 2016 General Election in mind. We hope that you will take a moment to review these pages, as you may find the answers to your questions. We encourage you to explore our website for more detailed information on elections and voting in Texas. We hope you find this useful, and we appreciate this opportunity to serve you. Note: We have grouped questions and answers in categories and provided links to additional information when needed.
Provisional voting is designed to allow a voter whose name does not appear on the list of registered voters due to an administrative error to vote. The provisional voting process involves an affidavit that (1) the voter must complete stating the reasons he or she is qualified to vote; and (2) is used if the voter’s registration cannot be verified by the polling place election officials OR does not present one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID OR does not have a reasonable impediment or difficulty to obtaining one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID. A voter does not have a reasonable impediment or difficulty if either (1) there is no reasonable impediment or difficulty preventing the voter from obtaining one of the acceptable forms of photo ID, regardless of whether the voter presents one of the forms of supporting identification to the polling place, or (2) there is such a reasonable impediment or difficulty, but the voter fails to present one of the forms of supporting identification at the polling place.
The provisional voting process requires the voter to visit the voter registrar’s office within six (6) calendar days of the date of the election to either present one of the above seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID OR submit one of the temporary affidavits (e.g., religious objection or natural disaster) OR submit the required paperwork and sign the required statement to qualify for a permanent disability exemption as referenced above, in the presence of the county voter registrar, while attesting to the fact that he or she does not have any of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo IDs, in order for the provisional ballot to count.
The voter-marked provisional ballots are kept separately from the regular ballots, and the voter’s records will be reviewed by the provisional voting ballot board (the early voting ballot board), to determine if the ballot is to be counted or rejected. If applicable, the voter registrar will conduct whatever research is necessary to determine whether the voter is or should have been registered in the precinct in which the voter cast the provisional ballot and will pass this information on to the ballot board to assist it in making the decision of whether the provisional ballot must be counted. Provisional voters will receive a notice in the mail by the 10th day after the local canvass advising them if their provisional ballots were counted, and if they were not counted, the reason why.
Please note that registering with a federal post card application (typically used by the military and overseas voters) is now treated as a request for permanent registration. There are also special provisions for military and overseas voters that are available on our website. However, military and overseas voters are welcome to use the regular registration and early voting by mail process available to all voters away from their home county on Election Day.
Rather than providing sample questions & answers, we are directing you to special needs information on our website to ensure that you are fully informed on the services available to you.
Student voters often seek advice regarding residency issues for voter registration purposes. Information regarding student residency issues is available on this website.
In Texas, a convicted felon regains the right to vote after completing his or her sentence. Therefore, once you have completed the punishment phase (including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by the court), you would be eligible to register and vote in the state of Texas.
For information on the local option liquor petition and election process in Texas, you may review our office’s educational materials that are posted on our website.
For information on registered political parties in Texas, please contact those organizations directly:
We have information located in various sections of our website – “Candidates” and “Conducting Your Elections” (for election officers) just to name a few. We have moved voter specific information to our website, votetexas.gov. You will notice that some materials are repeated in different places–our hope is to gear each section to the audience for easier bookmarking and future use.
Thank you. Should you need additional information, please e-mail or call us at 1-800-252-VOTE(8683).
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