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New Voter Identification Requirements for Texas Voters

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No Photo ID Required when Voting by Mail

*see below for exceptions

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New Voter ID Requirements for Texas Voters

A court order issued on August 10, 2016, relating to photo identification requirements for Texas voters has changed the rules. With this court order, Texas voters have additional options when presenting ID at the polls for the November 8, 2016 election.

As provided by the Court order, “voters who ‘do not possess an acceptable form of photo identification and cannot obtain one due to a reasonable impediment’ may vote after signing the Reasonable Impediment Declaration” and providing one of the various forms of supporting documentation.

Seven approved Forms of Photo ID

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.

  • Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate (EIC) issued by DPS
  • Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
  • Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) issued by DPS
  • U.S. Military ID Card containing the person’s photograph
  • U.S. Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • U.S. Passport

Supporting documentation can be:

  • Valid Voter Registration Certificate
  • Certified Birth Certificate (must be an original)
  • Copy of or original current utility bill
  • Copy of or original bank statement
  • Copy of or original government check
  • Copy of or original paycheck
  • Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph)

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.

If the voter has no ID from those listed, he or she can vote a Provisional Ballot and cure it with one of the approved IDs up to 6 calendar days after Election Day. The voter must appear at the Voter Registrar’s Office in person to cure the ballot on regular business days during normal business hours.

Free Election Identification Certificates Available

Individuals without an approved form of photo ID may apply for an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) at any Texas Driver License office. There is no charge for this certificate. EICs for persons age 70 and older do not expire; all other EICs expire every six years. To receive this voter ID card, applicants must provide specific documents that prove their identity and citizenship. For more information call DPS at 512-424-2600 or visit their website at www.txdps.state.tx.us

Name on Photo ID Must Match Name on the Voter Registration List

Texas law requires poll workers to review the name on each voter’s photo ID to see if it exactly matches the list of registered voters. If the names are not exact, but are “substantially similar,” that person will be able to vote after initialing the sign-in sheet to affirm that he or she is the same person appearing on the voter registration list.

Provisional Ballots for Those Without Proper ID at Polls

A voter who does not have the required form of ID or does not have a “substantially similar” name match will be permitted to cast a provisional ballot. The voter must present proper identification to the County Voter Registrar within six calendar days of the election or the voter’s ballot will be rejected.

Permanent Exemptions

Voters with a disability and without an approved form of ID may apply with the County Voter Registrar for a permanent exemption. Documentation from the Social Security Administration showing a disability or from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs showing a disability rating of at least 50 percent will be required. A new voter registration certificate that reflects the exemption will be issued.

Temporary Exemptions

Voters who have a religious objection to being photographed or do not have a valid ID due to certain natural disasters as declared by the President or the Texas Governor, may cast a provisional ballot. They must appear at the voter registrar’s office within six calendar days after Election Day and sign an affidavit for their ballots to be counted.

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