8 things Texans need to know for the November election
We’re less than 50 days away from arguably one of the most critical elections of our lifetimes. But if the March primary was a sneak peek to the issues that lie ahead, it’s up to us to make sure we provide useful and clear information to eligible voters about the voting process and how to vote safely.
Whether it’s about what to bring to your polling place or when Early Vote starts, the Texas Election Protection coalition is here to help. Our democracy is stronger when our communities are educated and equipped with the tools they need ahead of the November election.
1. What kind of ID do I need when I go vote?
The following are acceptable forms of ID to take with you to the polls:
Texas Drivers License
Texas Election ID Certificate
Texas Personal ID Card
Texas Handgun License
US Military ID (with photo)
US Citizenship Certificate (with photo)
US Passport (book or card)
If you can’t get one of those, you can sign something called a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and use a non-photo ID, like a utility bill or your voter registration certificate.
2. Am I able to vote-by-mail due to COVID-19?
The short answer is: some people can.
You can definitely vote by mail if you are over 65, have a disability, are out of your county for all of in-person voting, or are eligible but in jail. For all others, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that while having a lack of immunity to COVID-19 doesn’t qualify you for a mail-in ballot based on disability alone, you can consider it along with your medical history to decide for yourself if you meet the requirement.
3. Can I drop off my mail-in ballot at my polling place?
No, you may only take your mail-in ballot to your county clerk or Election Administrator’s office to submit in person. If you decide not to vote by mail, you can take your mail ballot to the polling place, cancel it there, and vote in person. If you had an issue receiving your ballot, or lost your ballot, you may also cast a provisional ballot in-person.
4. When does Early Vote begin and end?
Because of the pandemic, Early Vote has been extended. The first day of early in-person voting starts Tuesday, Oct. 13. The last day of Early Voting is Friday, Oct. 30. We encourage you to take advantage of the additional days of Early Voting!
Don’t forget, the last day to register to vote is Monday, Oct. 5. Click here to update, verify, or register to vote.
5. Do I need to register to vote again if I move?
It depends on whether you moved within a county in Texas or from one county in Texas to another. If you moved within a county, then you can update your voter registration address online here. If you moved from one county in Texas to another, then you must re-register.
6. I’m transgender/non-binary/gender non-conforming. Does the name on my ID need to match my name as listed on the voter registration rolls? Or does my gender marker on my ID need to match the gender listed on my voter registration application?
Your name on your ID does not have to match the one listed on the voter registration rolls and you do not need to provide additional documentation if the names are substantially similar or identical.
As far as your gender marker, there is no legal requirement for that in Texas law. If you have any issues with this, call our hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.
7. Where can I find my polling place?
You can find out information about your polling place on your county’s website or through the Secretary of State’s website found here! Even if you voted previously, it’s important to check if you can still go to your preferred polling location.
8. I have other voting questions or need more information. Who can I contact?
Call our Election Protection Hotline! We’re here to help you with whatever questions you may have. We have dedicated hotlines for different languages and accessibility.
English: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) Spanish: 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) Asian Languages: 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) Arabic: 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287) American Sign Language (Video): 301-818-VOTE (301-818-8683) Disability Rights TX: 888-796-VOTE (888-796-8683)
Julien is the Election Protection Digital Fellow at the Texas Civil Rights Project.