Early Voting

What will I need in order to vote in person on election day or during early voting?

A.

When a voter arrives at a polling location, the voter will be asked to present one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID (listed below). If a voter has not been able to obtain one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID, and has a reasonable impediment or difficulty to obtaining an acceptable form of photo ID, the voter may present a supporting form of ID and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, noting the voter’s reasonable impediment to obtaining an acceptable form of photo ID, and stating that the voter is the same person on the presented form of supporting form of ID.

Election officials are required to determine whether the voter’s name on the identification provided matches the name on the official list of registered voters (“OLRV”). After a voter presents their ID, whether it’s an acceptable form of photo ID or a supporting form of ID, the election worker will compare it to the OLRV. If the name on the ID matches the name on the list of registered voters, the voter will follow the regular procedures for voting.

If the name does not match exactly but is “substantially similar” to the name on the OLRV, the voter will be permitted to vote as long as the voter signs an affidavit stating that the voter is the same person on the list of registered voters.

If a voter (a) does not have one of the acceptable forms of photo identification listed below, which is not expired for more than four years, and a voter does not have a reasonable impediment to obtaining one of these forms of identification or (b) has, but did not bring to the polling place, one of the seven forms of acceptable photo identification listed above, which is not expired for more than four years, the voter may cast a provisional ballot at the polls. However, in order to have the provisional ballot counted, the voter will be required to visit the voter registrar’s office within six calendar days of the date of the election to either present one of the below forms of photo ID OR submit one of the temporary affidavits addressed in the question below (e.g., religious objection or natural disaster) in the presence of the county voter registrar while attesting to the fact that he or she does not have any of the required photo IDs.

Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID at the polling place:

  • 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 license to carry a handgun 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

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 4 years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.

Election Identification Certificates are available from all DPS driver license offices during regular business hours, and will be available from certain DPS driver license offices from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, 2016, and Saturday, October 29, 2016. Also, find mobile station locations here.

Here is a list of the supporting forms of ID that can be presented if the voter cannot obtain, and has a reasonable impediment or difficulty to obtaining one of the forms of acceptable photo ID:
  • Valid voter registration certificate
  • Certified birth certificate (must be an original)
  • Copy of or original current utility bill
  • Copy of or original bank statement
  • Copy of or original government check
  • Copy of or original paycheck
  • Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph)

After presenting a supporting form of ID, the voter must execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

A permanent exemption is available for voters with documented disabilities who have not obtained one of the acceptable forms of photo ID. Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption. The application must contain written documentation from either the U.S. Social Security Administration evidencing the applicant’s disability, or from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs evidencing a disability rating of at least 50 percent. In addition, the applicant must state that he or she has no valid form of acceptable photo ID. Those who obtain a disability exemption will be allowed to vote by presenting a voter registration certificate reflecting the exemption.

Who is eligible to vote early? What are the dates for voting early in person?

A.

Any registered voter may vote early by personal appearance (in person). Early voting by personal appearance for the November 8, 2016 Election begins on October 24, 2016 and ends on November 4, 2016. You may vote at any early voting location in your county of registration.

Where do I go to vote?

A.

You will be able to find early voting locations by using our search site Am I Registered?, which will be populated with voting sites a few days before early voting begins. Or, you may want to contact the Early Voting Clerk for State and County Elections in your county. Also, many newspapers publish early voting and election day polling locations, so you might be able to find the information there.

Can anybody vote early by mail (also referred to as “absentee voting”)?

A.
Only specific reasons entitle a registered voter to vote early by mail (no longer called absentee voting). You may request a ballot by mail if you:
  1. will be away from your county on Election Day and during the hours that early voting is conducted;
  2. are sick or disabled;
  3. are 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
  4. are confined in jail.

I fall under one of the 4 reasons above. What do I do now? Are there deadlines connected with this procedure?

A.

First, request an Application for Ballot by Mail (ABBM) from the Early Voting Clerk in the political subdivision conducting your election, or from our office. You may also print an ABBM directly from our website (PDF), (Spanish version (PDF). Once received, read the instructions carefully, complete the ABBM form and return it to the Early Voting Clerk. For the November 8, 2016 Election date, the last day to apply for an ABBM to the early voting clerk is October 28, 2016; in order for you to receive a ballot by mail; the last day (or deadline) to submit an ABBM (not a postmark date) must be received in the office of the early voting clerk by November 8, Election Day.

Can anyone vote early, or only those people who are going to be out of town on Election Day? What are the dates for voting early in person?

A.
Any registered voter may vote early in person. To vote early by mail, you must first complete an Application for Ballot by Mail (PDF). For complete details, refer to our section "Early Voting."
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