The following article is meant to provide a small guide into voting in Texas, for more in depth information please visit https://www.votetexas.gov/
Step One: Registration
The first part of the Voting Process is registering to vote. Voter registration is the requirement that a person register on an electoral roll before they will be entitled or permitted to vote. In Texas, you are qualified if you meet the following requirements:
1) You must be a United States citizen
2) You must be a resident of the county where you submit the application
3) You are at least 17 years and 10 months old, and you will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day.
4) You are not a convicted felon (you may be eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence, probation, and parole);
5) You have not been declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
Once you meet these qualifications, you must then register using a registrar. In Texas, once you meet these qualifications, you must then register using a registrar. A voter registrar is a person approved by the state to register voters. Registrars use forms to add citizens to their state’s voter rolls, the states list of registered voters. You can register in person at your county Voter Registrar’s office. (In most Texas counties, the Tax Assessor-Collector is also the Voter Registrar. In some counties, the County Clerk or Elections Administrator registers voters.)
Texas does not allow online voting!!!
You can also print and mail a form to the state who will then register you. Simply pick up a voter registration application, fill it out, and mail it at least 30 days before the election date. Get your application here.
Step 2: Deciding When and How to Vote
There are 3 times to vote
During Early Voting Period
Early voting is a process by which voters in a public election can vote prior to the scheduled election day. Early voting can take place remotely, such as via postal voting, or in person, usually in designated early voting polling stations.
On Election Day
Voting on election day is voting the official scheduled date of the election. This often is less flexible than the other means but often is more reliable
By Mail During Open Period
Postal voting is voting in an election where ballot papers are distributed to electors by post, in contrast to electors voting in person at a polling station or electronically via an electronic voting. In most states the ballot must be received by the day of voting.
Step 3: Showing Up To the Polling Place
You’ll be mailed a voter registration certificate or card with your name, address, and the number of the precinct in which you’ll vote.
A precinct is a geographic area in your county. where your assigned polling station should be located. Check your local newspaper on the Saturday before the election for the address of the polling place for your precinct and, on election day, arrive there between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to cast your ballot. In some counties you may be allowed to vote in a polling center which allows you to vote at a separate location then your assigned polling station.
Unless you are a voter with a permanent exemption on your voter registration certificate, you will need to show your approved form of photo identification to the election official. If you do not possess one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo identification and you cannot reasonably obtain one, show a supporting form of identification to the election official and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. Here are the accepted forms of ID:
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 your photograph
• United States Citizenship Certificate containing your photograph
• United States Passport (book or card)
Here is a list of supporting forms of ID that can be presented if the voter does not possess an acceptable form of photo identification, and cannot reasonably obtain one:
- copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter’s voter registration certificate;
- copy of or original current utility bill;
- copy of or original bank statement;
- copy of or original government check;
- copy of or original paycheck; or
- copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document).
Step 4: Voting
Depending on the type of voting machine they use, they’ll provide you with a paper ballot or, for an electronic voting machine, a number or ballot activator card that enables you to vote on the machine. You will then fill out your choices.