AUSTIN – Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs today reminded Texans to make the necessary preparations to be able to cast their vote in the upcoming March 3rd primary election. Secretary Hughs encouraged all eligible Texas voters to ensure they are registered to vote in their county of residence, and are aware of what they need to bring to the polls in order to cast a ballot. The Secretary also urged voters to contact their respective county elections office to view a sample ballot, locate their appropriate polling location, and plan their trip to the polls.
Ahead of the upcoming February 3rd voter registration deadline, the Secretary issued a call-to-action by urging Texans to register and take the appropriate steps to be prepared to vote.
“Being prepared is essential for Texans’ seeking to make their voices heard,” said Secretary Hughs. “In addition to registering to vote, Texans should set aside time to ensure that they have made the necessary preparations to cast their ballot. Together, we will ensure that all eligible Texans are able to take part in shaping the direction of the Lone Star State.”
As of this month, there are 16,106,984 registered voters in Texas — a new state record.
Eligible Texans who are not already registered to vote must complete a voter registration application and submit it to the county voter registrar in their county of residence. Completed voter registration applications must be postmarked by February 3rd in order to be accepted. Texans may check to see if they are already registered to vote through the Texas Secretary of State’s web site or by visiting www.votetexas.gov.
Texas voters who possess one of the seven approved forms of photo ID 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, available to them at each polling location, and provide a supporting form of identification. In addition, 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:
- 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
- United States Passport (book or card)
**License is not required to be REAL ID compliant
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, 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
- 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.