Early voting is here, Texans. In-person early voting runs until Nov. 4.
Beyond deciding who to support for president, there are important state and local races on the ballot. Before you head to the polls, check this list to find your polling place and make sure you have what you need to vote.
On the ballot
Statewide offices: Republicans and Democrats will choose nominees for railroad commissioner, state appellate courts and the state board of education.
Congress: All of the state’s 36 U.S. House districts are on the ballot.
Legislature: Each of the 150 Texas House seats is up for election, along with half of the state Senate.
County: County commissioners, sheriffs, some county court judges and other offices are on the ballot.
Make sure you’re registered
You must be registered to vote in any election. Check https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do to see if you are registered.
Texas does not require voters to register as a Republican or Democrat. The deadline to register in person for the Nov. 1 general election was Oct. 11.
Want to vote early?
Early voting locations are different than Election Day polling places. If you plan to vote early by mail, you must apply for an early voting ballot through the secretary of state or your county elections office. For more information, go to http://www.votetexas.gov/voting/when#early-voting.
Find your polling place.
You should have been mailed a voter registration card with your name, address and the name of the precinct in which you’ll vote. Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Don’t forget your valid ID
You must take one of the following IDs with you to the polls:A Texas driver’s licenseA U.S. passportA state-issued ID cardA state-issued election certificateA Texas concealed handgun licenseA U.S. military ID or citizenship certificate with a photograph issued by the federal government
With the exception of the citizenship certificate, none of the forms of identification may be expired for more than four years before being presented.
If you do not have one of these seven forms of ID, you may vote if you sign a declaration at the polls that explains why you are “reasonably unable to obtain” one of the seven approved forms of ID and if you bring one of the following pieces of supporting documentation:
A certified birth certificateA valid voter registration certificateA current utility billA bank statementA government check, paycheck or other government document with the voter’s name and address
Note: All documents must be originals, not photocopies.
Voters with a disability: These voters may continue to apply for a permanent exemption to showing photo ID at the polls through their county registrar.
Temporary exemptions: Voters who have consistent religious objections to be photographed or do not present one of the seven forms of approved ID because of natural disasters declared by the president or governor may apply for a temporary exemption to showing ID at the polls.
Verification: An election judge must compare the name on the ID card to the voter registration card or the computerized voter roll maintained at the precinct. If the names don’t match, the election judge can declare them “substantially similar” if the difference is slight; the name is a customary variation, such as a shortened name; or if the name is the same but listed in a different order (such as Mary Jones vs. Mary Jones Smith).
The election judge will also verify the voter’s address before providing a ballot. The voter may have to sign an affidavit confirming his or her identity.
The process is quick, but if enough voters have ID issues, delays are possible. In Dallas and some other counties, voters can opt to have their name changed in the registration database to match their ID to avoid future problems.
Provisional voting: Officials urge voters to cast a ballot even if they have ID issues. The ballot would be considered provisional until the voter can obtain an ID and present it to the county voting office within six days. If the voter doesn’t meet the deadline, the ballot is not counted.
Still have questions?
Check the secretary of state’s elections website, VoteTexas.gov, or call 1-800-252-VOTE.