How to Vote in Texas in 2018



How to Vote in Texas

Four Methods:

In the United States, voting is both a right and a responsibility. You have a voice in deciding who represents you at the local, state, and federal level! Each state has its own policies regarding voting, so you’ll need to follow the laws in Texas to make your choices heard this election day. After you register to vote in Texas, you can vote in person on Election Day, in person through early voting, or by mail if you meet certain requirements.

Steps

Registering to Vote

  1. Confirm if you’re registered to vote online or in person.If you’ve voted or registered to vote in the past, start by checking your registration status. To check your status, you’ll need to provide your name, county of residence, and birthdate. If you aren’t sure which county you registered in, you can use your Texas Driver’s License number and your date of birth.
    • You can check online here:
    • If you’d rather call or visit your County Voter Registration Official, you can find their information here:
  2. Look up the deadline for registering to vote before an election.In Texas, your voter registration application must be postmarked at least 30 days before the election is scheduled to occur. If the cut off day is a weekend or holiday, citizens have until the next business day to mail their application.
    • For example, the cut off for the 2019 midterm election is October 9, 2019. The election will occur on November 6, 2019.
  3. Check your eligibility to vote in the next election.You can’t register to vote unless you meet the eligibility requirements. If you’re a minor but will turn 18-years-old before or on election day, you can register to vote at age 17 years and 10 months. Here are the eligibility requirements for voting in Texas:
    • You must be a U.S. citizen.
    • You must be a resident of the county where you plan to vote.
    • You must be at least 18-years-old on or before election day.
    • You cannot be a felon who has a non-discharged sentence.
    • You must not have been declared mentally incapacitated.
  4. Get an application online, in the mail, or from a governmental office.You must mail or hand deliver your voter application in Texas. However, you have several options for getting your application. If you acquire your application from a governmental institution, you do not need to include postage to mail it. To get your application, visit one of these locations:
    • Access the informal, postage-required application online here:
    • Request an official, postage-paid application be mailed to you here:
    • Pick up a postage-paid application at your County Voter Registrar’s Office, Secretary of State’s office, post office, public library, and some public high schools.
  5. Complete your application.Read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you’re providing the correct information for each section. The form is simple, but you need to answer each question accurately. You will also need to provide one of the following:
    • Your Texas Driver’s License number
    • Your Texas-issued ID number
    • Your Texas Election Identification Certificate number
    • Your Texas-issued Concealed Handgun License
    • Your U.S. military ID card with photograph
    • U.S. passport
    • U.S. citizenship certificate with a photograph
  6. Submit your application via mail or in person to your County Voter Registrar.If you’re using an official, postage-paid application, check that it’s self-addressed before mailing it. If you printed your application from the web, you’ll need to address the envelope yourself. If you want to make sure your registration reaches its destination, you can deliver it yourself!
    • You can find the address for your County Voter Registrar here:
  7. Watch the mail for your voter registration card.Expect your voter registration certificate within 30 days of when you submit your application. When you receive it, sign the card and place it in a safe place. It’s okay to fold it so it fits in your wallet.
    • Check your voter registration card to make sure all of your information is correct. If you notice any mistakes, notify your County Voter Registrar immediately. They can correct your card.
    • Make sure you notify your County Voter Registrar if you lose your certificate.
    • If you move to a new address, you'll need to go through the voter registration process again to update your information. When you fill out the application, you'll mark that you're applying to change your voter registration.

Voting on Election Day

  1. Find your polling location online or by calling your local election official.Your polling location will be located close to where you live and is based on your assigned precinct. Usually, polling locations are located in sites like community centers, libraries, or schools. This is the only location where you can vote on Election Day.
    • You can find your voting precinct number on your voter registration certificate. It’s located near your date of birth.
    • You can check your polling information online here:
    • You can find the contact information for your local election official here:
  2. Visit your polling location between the hours of 7:00 a.m.and 7:00 p.m.Bring your voter registration certificate and your ID. Voting begins at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 7:00 p.m.
    • You can vote without your voter registration certificate, but having it makes the process go smoothly. It makes it easier for the poll worker to find your name and ensures you get a standard rather than a provisional ballot.
    • If you’re in the line to vote by 7:00 p.m., you may be allowed to vote even if the polling location closes before you have a chance to cast your ballot.
  3. Give the election worker your acceptable photo ID.Your ID cannot be expired for more than 4 years, unless you are over 70 years of age. If you are over age 70, you can use an ID expired more than 4 years as long as it’s otherwise valid. Here are the types of photo ID that are acceptable:
    • Texas Driver’s License
    • Texas Identification Card
    • Texas Election Identification Certificate
    • Texas handgun license issued by DPS
    • U.S. military ID card with photograph
    • U.S. passport
    • U.S. citizenship certificate with photograph
    • Any current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current residential address, if you make a Reasonable Impairment Declaration due to lack of transportation, illness, disability, or lack of birth certificate or other related documents.
  4. Sign your name on the official list of registered voters.An election worker will find your name on the role and have you sign next to it. This records that you have voted in the election.
    • The election worker will also verify that your information is correct on your voter registration. If it isn’t, they will make a note correcting the information. Depending on the change, you may be given a provisional ballot rather than a standard ballot.
  5. Go into the polling booth to fill out your ballot.Many polling locations use digital polling, and an election worker will set up your digital ballot. If you are using a paper ballot, they will hand you your ballot on your way to the polling booth. Your paper ballot may be counted by hand or by a machine.
    • The polling booth is private because each vote is anonymous. Don’t let someone enter your polling booth with you.
  6. Fill out your ballot with your choices.You can choose to vote straight ticket for either party, or you can choose a candidate for each office. You can choose to vote for every office and issue up for election, or you can vote on just the selections that interest you.
    • If you’re filling out a traditional paper ballot, use the marker or pen provided in your polling booth. If your paper ballot will be counted by a machine, make sure you fill in the bubbles or connect the arrows next to your selection.
    • If you’re completing an electronic ballot, select the options you want for each office or issue. Then, double check your selections are correct before submitting your ballot.
  7. Submit your ballot.If you filled out a paper ballot, place it in the designated ballot box or run it through the machine provided. If you completed a digital ballot, hit the appropriate button on your screen and wait for confirmation that your vote was recorded.
    • If you’re using a digital ballot, the button to submit your ballot will likely say “Vote” or “Cast Ballot.”
    • Keep in mind that your vote is anonymous. No election workers should ask to see your vote, check over your ballot, or advise you on how to vote. If this happens to you, report it to the Department of Justice here: .

Participating in Early Voting

  1. Recognize everyone is eligible to vote early in person.Any registered voter can vote during the early voting period in Texas. You can conveniently vote at any early voting polling location, regardless of where you live. Polling sites decide their own hours, though many open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on business days.
  2. Check the dates for early voting in the upcoming election.Early voting begins 17 days prior to the next election and ends 4 days prior to the election. You can vote on any business day during this period, which often includes Saturday.
    • If a start or end date falls on a weekend, it’s moved to the following Monday.
    • For example, early voting for the 2019 midterm election begins Monday, October 22, 2019, and ends Friday, November 2, 2019.
  3. Find an early voting location by checking online.You can vote at any early voting location, regardless of where you live. The early voting locations throughout the state will appear online 2 days before early voting starts.
    • You can check early voting locations in your area here: . As an alternative, call your Early Voting Clerk. You can find their information here:
    • Early voting locations will also have signs that let you know you can vote there.
    • You may also see early voting locations listed in your local newspaper.
    • You can verify the polling hours for your desired early voting location before you go to vote by looking online.
  4. Provide your voter registration card and ID to the election worker.You’ll need to prove your identity in order to vote. The election worker will check to make sure you’re the person in the photo on your ID. Here is a list of the approved photo IDs:
    • Texas Driver’s License
    • Texas Identification Card
    • Texas Election Identification Certificate
    • Texas handgun license issued by DPS
    • U.S. military ID card with photograph
    • U.S. passport
    • U.S. citizenship certificate with photograph
    • Any current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current residential address, if you make a Reasonable Impairment Declaration due to lack of transportation, illness, disability, or lack of birth certificate or other related documents.
  5. Sign next to your name on the list of registered voters.An election worker will look up your name on the role, then they’ll have you sign next to it. This will provide a record showing you’ve voted.
    • The election worker will likely ask if the information on your voter registration card is still correct. If the info has changed, they’ll note the changes and may give you a provisional ballot.
  6. Take your ballot from the election worker.Your ballot will be either a paper ballot or a digital ballot, depending on where you live. Paper ballots may be counted by hand or by machine, while digital ballots are always counted by the voting machine.
    • You will fill out your ballot in a polling booth.
    • Read all of the instructions on your ballot before you start filling it out.
  7. Complete your ballot.You can choose to vote either straight ticket or to manually choose your selection for each office or issue. You can also choose to skip over some items on the ballot if you choose not to vote on that item.
    • If you have a paper ballot, use the marker or pen provided in the polling booth. If the paper ballot will be counted by a machine, be sure to completely fill in the appropriate bubbles or connect the arrows next to your selection.
    • If you’re using a digital ballot, make your selections on the screen. Then, double check the selections you made before you hit the button to submit your ballot.
  8. Submit your ballot.A traditional paper ballot will be turned into a ballot box to later be hand counted. If your paper ballot will be counted by machine, you may be asked to put it into the voting machine. If you use a digital ballot, you will hit the button on your screen to submit your ballot.
    • On a digital ballot, the submit button might say “Vote” or “Cast Ballot.”
    • Your vote is your choice! You can report inappropriate behavior at the polls by reporting it to the Department of Justice here:

Casting Your Ballot by Mail

  1. Check if you’re eligible to vote by mail.Voting by mail, formerly called “absentee voting,” is only any option for people who cannot vote in person. You must show that you meet one of these approved reasons for not voting in person:
    • You will not be in your county of residence during early voting or on election day.
    • You are sick or disabled.
    • You are at least 65-years-old on Election Day.
    • You are in jail but weren’t convicted of a felony.
  2. Complete an Application for Ballot by Mail (ABBM).You can get this application from your county's Early Voting Clerk in person or online. Read all of the instructions and make sure you complete the entire application.
    • You can find the contact information for your Early Voting Clerk here:
    • You can access the form online here:
    • The form is available in Spanish here:
  3. Submit your application to the Early Voting Clerk by the deadline.The earliest you can submit your application is January 1st of the election year. The latest you can submit the application is 10 days before the election.You can submit your application in person or by mail, fax, or email.
    • If you fax or email your application, you must also mail it, as well. Your Early Voting Clerk must receive it within 4 days of your fax or email.
    • Your application must be received by the final deadline, not postmarked by that day.
  4. Watch for your ballot in the mail.If your application is approved, you’ll receive your mail-in ballot in a few weeks. Once you complete your ballot at home, you’ll send it back to your Early Voting Clerk.
    • You can check on the status of your application or ballot by contacting your county’s Early Voting Clerk.
  5. Complete your ballot.Expect to receive a traditional paper ballot. Read the instructions on the ballot. Then, fill in your selections using a non-erasable pen or marker. You do not have to vote on every item if you don’t want to do so.
    • How you vote is up to you. If you feel like someone else made choices for you, report it to the Department of Justice here:
  6. Submit your ID if it’s your first time voting by mail.If you’ve voted by mail in the past, you do not need to submit your ID. However, you will need to provide a copy of your valid ID if this is your first time voting by mail. Here are the acceptable forms of ID:
    • Texas Driver’s License
    • Texas Identification Card
    • Texas Election Identification Certificate
    • Texas handgun license issued by DPS
    • U.S. military ID card with photograph
    • U.S. passport
    • U.S. citizenship certificate with photograph
    • Any current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current residential address, if you make a Reasonable Impairment Declaration due to lack of transportation, illness, disability, or lack of birth certificate or other related documents.
  7. Mail in your ballot before election day.Return your ballot to the Early Voting Clerk. It’s best to complete and mail back your ballot as soon as you receive it. This will ensure your vote is counted!
    • If your ballot is postmarked by election day and received by 5:00 p.m. on the day after election day, your vote will be counted.

Community Q&A

Search
  • Question
    As a U.S. citizen, can I vote if I failed to register in time?
    Top Answerer
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What do I request to receive a ballot with candidates from both parties on it?
    Top Answerer
    In a general election you will automatically receive a ballot with all candidates listed. In a primary election, if you are registered with a particular party, you will receive a ballot listing non-partisan candidates and those representing your party. In the case of an "open" primary, you would receive a ballot listing candidates from all parties. These guidelines may vary among voting districts.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Can I use this method to vote in other places such as Uganda?
    Community Answer
    Yes, US citizens, specifically in this case Texans can vote oversees via mail.
    Thanks!
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  • Participating in early voting is a convenient way to avoid standing in line on Election Day. In some areas, it's common for lines to form as voters arrive to cast their ballot.
  • Your vote counts! Don’t forget to let your voice be heard this Election Day!

Warnings

  • Don’t forget to bring your ID to the polling location on election day. If you do forget your ID, you’ll be given a provisional ballot. To get this ballot to count, you’ll need to bring your ID to the County Voter Registrar’s office within 6 days of Election Day.





Video: Demonstration of Hays County Texas voting machine

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Date: 07.12.2018, 09:54 / Views: 81142