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May 22, 2018 Primary Runoff Election
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Required Identification for Voting in Person

Press Release: Secretary Pablos Wants Texans To Be Ready To Vote.


Frequently Asked Questions

Senate Bill 5, passed by the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, requires voters who possess an acceptable form of photo identification for voting listed below to present that identification in order to vote in person in all Texas elections. For voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.   For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.  Voters who do not possess an acceptable form of photo identification and cannot reasonably obtain one of the forms of acceptable photo identification listed below may present a supporting form of identification and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, noting the voter’s reasonable impediment to obtaining an acceptable form of photo identification, stating that the information contained in the declaration is true, that the voter is the same individual personally appearing at the polling place to sign the declaration, and that the voter faces a reasonable impediment to procuring an acceptable form of photo identification.

This requirement is effective immediately.

Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID:

With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, for voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.

Election Identification Certificates are available from DPS driver license offices during regular business hours. Find mobile station locations here.

Here is a list of the supporting forms of ID that can be presented if the voter does not possess one of the forms of acceptable photo ID and cannot reasonably obtain one:

After presenting one of the forms of supporting ID listed above, the voter must execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

Procedures for Voting

New version: 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 that is current or, for voters aged 18-69, expired no more than four years.  Voters aged 70 or older may present one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID that is expired for any length of time that is otherwise valid. If a voter does not possess one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID and cannot reasonably obtain one, 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 identification, stating that the information contained in the declaration is true, that the voter is the same individual personally appearing at the polling place to sign the declaration, and that the voter faces a reasonable impediment to procuring an acceptable form of photo identification.

Election officials are still required by State law to determine whether the voter’s name on the identification provided (acceptable photo ID, or supporting form of ID, if applicable) 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 (if applicable), 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 possesses an acceptable form of photo ID but does not have it at the polling place, the voter will still be permitted to vote provisionally. The voter will have six (6) days to present an acceptable form of photo identification to the county voter registrar, or fill out the natural disaster affidavit referenced in the Exemption/Exceptions section below, or the voter’s ballot will be rejected. Alternatively, a voter who possesses an acceptable form of photo ID but does not have it at the polling place may choose to leave the polling place and return before the close of the polls on election day with said acceptable form of photo ID to, if the voter would otherwise qualify, vote a regular ballot at that time.

Exemptions:

Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption to presenting an acceptable photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure in the county. 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. The applicant must also state that he/she does not have a form of identification prescribed by Section 63.0101 of the Texas Election Code. Those who obtain a disability exemption will be allowed to vote upon display of their voter registration certificate reflecting the exemption, and will not need to execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. Please contact your county voter registrar for more details.

Voters who have a consistent religious objection to being photographed or who do not present an acceptable form of photo identification listed above or follow the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure because of certain natural disasters as declared by the President of the United States or the Texas Governor, may vote a provisional ballot, appear at the voter registrar’s office within six (6) calendar days after election day, and sign an affidavit swearing to the religious objection or natural disaster, in order for the voter’s ballot to be counted. Please contact your county voter registrar for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kind of photo identification is required to qualify to vote in person?

With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, for voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.

2. My acceptable photo ID is expired. Will it still work?

With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, for voters aged 18-69, the acceptable photo identification must be current or have expired no more than 4 years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.

3. What if a voter does not have any of the acceptable forms of photo ID?

If a voter does not possess an acceptable form of photo ID and the voter cannot reasonably obtain such ID, the voter may still cast a regular ballot by presenting a supporting form of ID and executing a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, noting the voter’s reasonable impediment to obtaining an acceptable form of photo identification, stating that the information contained in the declaration is true, that the voter is the same individual personally appearing at the polling place to sign the declaration, and that the voter faces a reasonable impediment to procuring an acceptable form of photo identification.

Here is a list of supporting forms of ID:

Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption to presenting an acceptable photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure in the county. 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. The applicant must also state that he/she does not have a form of identification prescribed by Section 63.0101 of the Texas Election Code. Those who obtain a disability exemption will be allowed to vote upon display of their voter registration certificate reflecting the exemption, and will not need to execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

If a voter (a) states that they do not possess an acceptable form of photo identification listed above, which is not expired for more than four years, and the voter can reasonably obtain one of these acceptable forms of identification or (b) possesses, 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 above forms of photo ID OR submit one of the temporary affidavits addressed below (e.g., religious objection or natural disaster) in the presence of the county voter registrar. Alternatively, the voter may choose to leave the polling place and return before the close of the polls on election day with an acceptable form of photo ID to, if they otherwise qualify, vote a regular ballot at that time.

Voters who have a consistent religious objection to being photographed or who do not present an acceptable form of photo identification listed above or follow the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure because of certain natural disasters as declared by the President of the United States or the Texas Governor, may vote a provisional ballot, appear at the voter registrar’s office within six (6) calendar days after election day, and sign an affidavit swearing to the religious objection or natural disaster, in order for the voter’s ballot to be counted. Please contact your county voter registrar for more details.

4. What is a reasonable impediment?

Reasonable impediments identified on the Reasonable Impediment Declaration include lack of transportation, disability or illness, lack of birth certificate or other documents needed to obtain acceptable photo ID, work schedule, family responsibilities, lost or stolen ID, or acceptable form of photo ID applied for but not received. You must qualify for one of these reasonable impediments in order to execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. A person is subject to prosecution for perjury under Chapter 37, Penal Code, or Section 63.0013 of the Texas Election Code for providing a false statement or false information on a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

5. What if a voter does not have any form of ID with them at the polling place and they do not have a disability exemption when they visit the polling place?

If a voter does not possess an acceptable form of photo ID, cannot reasonably obtain one, and does not have or does not bring a supporting form of ID to present in connection with a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, or if the voter does not possess an acceptable form of photo ID and can reasonably obtain an acceptable form of photo ID, or if the voter possesses, but did not bring with them, an acceptable form of photo ID, 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 county voter registrar’s office within six calendar days of the date of the election to either present an acceptable form of photo ID OR, if the voter does not possess and cannot reasonably obtain an acceptable form of photo ID, follow the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure, or, if applicable, submit one of the temporary affidavits addressed in these FAQs (religious objection or natural disaster) in the presence of the county voter registrar, or, if applicable, qualify for the disability exemption addressed in these FAQs with the county voter registrar.

Alternatively, a voter who possesses an acceptable form of photo ID but does not have it at the polling place, or a voter who does not possess an acceptable form of photo ID, and is reasonably able to obtain one, may choose to leave the polling place and return before the close of the polls on election day with an acceptable form of photo ID to vote a regular ballot at that time. In addition, a voter who does not possess, would otherwise not be able to reasonably obtain an acceptable form of photo ID, but did not bring a supporting form of ID to the polling place, may choose to leave the polling place and return before the close of the polls on election day with said supporting form of ID to fill out the Reasonable Impediment Declaration and, if they otherwise qualify, vote a regular ballot at that time.

6. What if my acceptable form of photo ID was lost, stolen, suspended, revoked or is expired more than four years?

A voter whose photo identification has been lost, stolen, suspended, revoked or, for voters aged 18-69, expired more than four years does not possess one of the acceptable forms of photo ID, and, if the voter cannot reasonably obtain a replacement of the identification that was lost, stolen, suspended, revoked or expired or another form of acceptable photo ID, the voter is eligible to present a supporting form of ID, execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, and, assuming they otherwise qualify, vote a regular ballot.

7. My name on my approved photo ID or my supporting ID (if applicable) does not exactly match my name on my voter registration card. Can I still vote?

Election officials will review the ID and if a name is “substantially similar” to the name on their list of registered voters, you will still be able to vote, but you will also have to submit an affidavit stating that you are the same person on the list of registered voters.

8. What does “substantially similar” mean?

A voter’s name is considered substantially similar if one or more of the following circumstances applies:

  1. The name on the ID is slightly different from one or more of the name fields on the official list of registered voters.
  2. The name on the voter’s ID or on list of registered voters is a customary variation of the voter’s formal name. For example, Bill for William, or Beto for Alberto.
  3. The voter’s name contains an initial, middle name, or former name that is either not on the official list of registered voters or on the voter’s ID.
  4. A first name, middle name, former name or initial of the voter’s name occupies a different field on the presented ID document than it does on the list of registered voters.

In considering whether a name is substantially similar, election officials will also look at whether information on the presented ID matches elements of the voter’s information on the official list of registered voters such as the voter’s residence address or date of birth.

9. Is there any change in the process for voting by mail?

There is no change in the process for voting by mail for most voters. Specifically, there is no change in procedure for voters who are voting by mail after their first time voting by mail, and for first time voters who would otherwise not be required to present identification under the federal Help America Vote Act in order to vote by mail.

10. Does the address on my ID (acceptable photo ID, or supporting ID if I qualify) have to match my address on the official list of registered voters at the time of voting in order for it to be acceptable as ID?

No. There is no address matching requirement.

11. Is the DPS Election Identification Certificate still going to be available?

Yes. The Election Identification Certificate is now available, and will be still be a form of acceptable photo ID. Information regarding how to obtain an election identification certificate can be found at www.dps.texas.gov. You may also contact DPS by telephone at (512) 424-2600 for more information.

We hope you have found this information helpful. Should you need additional information, please contact our office via telephone at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683) or email us.

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