Voters in November election have additional ID options
Published 10:55 am Wednesday, August 17, 2016
From staff reports
AUSTIN – Texas Secretary of State Carlos H. Cascos announced voters will have additional options when presenting ID at the polls for the November election.
“In elections this fall, Texas voters who cannot obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID will have additional options when casting their ballots,” Secretary Cascos said in a press release. “My agency is working to make sure Texans know about these changes and that all qualified voters are ready to cast a ballot.”
As provided by a court order issued, if a voter is not able to obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID, the voter may vote by signing a declaration at the polls explaining why the voter is unable to obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID, and providing one of various forms of supporting documentation.
Supporting documentation can be an original certified birth certificate, a valid voter registration certificate, a copy or original of one of the following: current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter, although government documents which include a photo must be original and cannot be copies. 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.
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 license to carry a handgun issued by DPS
• United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
• United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
• United States passport
“These are seven forms voters are already using,” Alicia Pierce, a representative of Texas Secretary of State office, said. “It will be the same as the last few elections.”
Pierce said the department is preparing for the upcoming election and are updating the official website with the latest information for those with concerns of what one will need to be able to vote.
With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the approved photo ID must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.
Voters with a disability may continue to apply with the county registrar for a permanent exemption to showing approved photo ID (which now may be expired no more than four years) at the polls. Also, voters who have a consistent religious objections to being photographed or do not present one of the seven forms of approved photo ID because of certain natural disasters as declared by the President of the United States or the Texas Governor, may continue apply for a temporary exemption to showing approved photo ID at the polls.
Voters with questions about how to cast a ballot in these elections can call 1-800-252-VOTE.
“The last day to register to vote for the November election is October 11,” Pierce said. “It is a little later than usual due to Columbus Day.”
Normally, one must submit the application to register to vote 30 days before an election for one to be eligible to vote.
For an application to register to vote in Orange County, visit http://www.co.orange.tx.us/Elections_Voter_Application.html
Early voting begins October 24 and ends November 4. Election Day is November 8.