AUSTIN – Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs today encouraged all eligible Texas voters to take advantage of the extended early voting period ahead of the November 3rd general election, which begins on Tuesday, October 13th and ends on Friday, October 30th. The Secretary urged voters to set aside time to prepare so that they are informed and ready to cast a ballot in the upcoming election.
“As early voting for the 2020 general election begins next week, I urge Texas voters to set aside time to make all necessary preparations to successfully cast their ballot,” said Secretary Hughs. “We want to ensure that all eligible Texans are informed and ready to confidently cast their vote when they head to the polls.”
The Secretary also reminded Texas voters to observe the recommended health care protocols released by her office, which are meant to help ensure the health and safety of all voters, election office personnel, polling place workers, and poll watchers.
During the early voting period, voters may cast a ballot at any location in their county of registration. On Election Day, only voters registered in a county that participates in the Countywide Polling Place Program (CWPP) can cast a ballot at any location in the county. In counties that do not participate in the CWPP, Texas voters must cast a ballot in their precinct of registration on Election Day.
Voters can check their registration status and view additional voting information online through the Texas Secretary of State’s ‘Am I Registered?’ tool. Voters may also contact their respective county elections offices directly for more information about their ballot and appropriate polling location.
Texas voters who wish to cast a ballot by mail must ensure their Application for Ballot by Mail (ABBM) (PDF) is received by the Early Voting Clerk in their county of registration by Friday, October 23rd. Learn more about requirements for voting by mail in Texas.
Eligible 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 can fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration (PDF) form, which is available at each polling location, and provide a supporting form of identification. 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)
**License is not required to be REAL ID compliant
With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate,
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 more information on voting in Texas, visit VoteTexas.gov.