NEXT ELECTION: November 6, 2012 General Election
- Last Day to Register to Vote – October 9th
- Last Day to Apply for a Ballot By Mail – October 30th
- Last Day of Early Voting – November 2nd
- Election Day! (also day mail ballots must be received by the early voting clerk) – November 6th
Verify your registration – Think you’re registered? If you did not receive a voter registration card, there may be an inaccuracy on your voter registration, such as an old address, wrong zip code, or simply a typo. You can check to make sure your registration listing is correct by clicking here.
- TIP: If you do not have your registration card, log on to either the Secretary of State’s www.votetexas.gov website or you county’s elections website, pull up your registration record, print it out and take it with you. That way if the election worker can’t find you on the list, you have documentation that shows the exact name and address at which you are registered.
Do I need to bring an ID?
Yes, however the types of ID that are acceptable for voting in Texas are very broad. You may vote with any of the following forms of ID:
- Your voter registration card (whether current or expired)
- A driver’s license or personal identification card issued to you by the Texas Department of Public Safety. You may also bring a similar document issued to you by an agency of another state, even if the license or card has expired;
- A form of identification that contains your photograph and establishes your identity;
- A birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes the person’s identity;
- Your United States citizenship papers;
- Your United States passport;
- Official mail addressed to you by a governmental entity; or
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
The Photo Voter ID legislation (SB 14) is not in place because it has not received preclearance (see the heading Voter ID on the Voter Empowerment Project page for more details).
*There are some people who will need to present an ID in addition to their voter registration card. Known as “ID voters”, these are individuals who registered to vote by mail and either did not provide a Texas Drivers License or Social Security Number or the numbers could not be matched. These voters will need to show ID in addition even if they have their voter registration card. It does not need to be a photo ID.
Do I Need To Do Anything Before Voting?
Yes. There are some things you can do before you go to the polls that can help make the experience smoother.
- Verify your registration. You can check your registration with either the Secretary of State’s website or your local county voter registrar.
- Know your precinct number. This determines which districts you are in and which races and ballot measures you get to vote on. You can find this out when you verify your registration.
- Check your districts. After redistricting in 2011, you may no longer be in all the same districts. You can find out which districts should be on your ballot using the Who Represents Me tool from the Texas Legislative Council.
- Figure out where to go. Use our Election Day page to find poll locations and map your route.
What should I bring?
The most important thing you should bring is your voter registration card. Your card has all of the information on it that the election workers need to make sure you are in the right place and that you get the right ballot. If you do not have your registration card, that’s ok. You can bring any of the acceptable forms of identification named here
You should also bring this “Know Your Rights” flyer with you in case you have any problems.
It might also be handy to take a sample ballot that you’ve marked with all the choices you’ve made about who and what to vote for. This is especially useful if you live in an area where there are a lot of races on the ballot and/or several ballot propositions. Many county elections offices have sample ballots available on their websites.
What happens at the polls?
- The election workers will ask to see your voter registration card or other form of ID.
- You will be asked to verify that you still live at the address at which you are registered. NOTE: If you answer that you do not, you may not be able to vote at that location, depending on whether or not you have moved within the county or across county lines. See here for additional information on what to do if you have moved.
- The election worker will enter your name on the roster and ask you to sign next to it. TIP: Check the name and address that the election worker enters on the roster before you sign your name to make sure they haven’t accidentally printed out a sticker for a different person with the same name, or a person with a different name at your same address.
- You will be given either a paper ballot, a slip of paper with a code to enter on the machine, or a card to insert into the machine. TIP: Once you have or have loaded your ballot, do a quick check to make sure the races you believe you get to vote on are all present.
Problems? If you experience a problem when you go to vote, contact your County Democratic Party. Contact information for each county party can be found here. If you can’t reach your County Party, please contact the Texas Democratic Party at 512-478-9800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find more information about the voting process on the Secretary of State’s www.votetexas.gov website.