AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Secretary of State Ruth Ruggero Hughs is urging all eligible Texas voters to take advantage of the extended early voting period ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Earlier voting began Tuesday, October 13 with record turnout in many of the major urban areas. El Paso, Harris and Travis counties shattered their records for first day voting.

Early voting ends on Friday, October 30. Thanks to Gov. Abbott an additional week of early voting is in place this election cycle.

Hughs urged voters to set aside time to prepare so that they are informed and ready to cast a ballot in the upcoming election.

“As early voting for the 2020 general election begins next week, I urge Texas voters to set aside time to make all necessary preparations to successfully cast their ballot,” Hughs said. “We want to ensure that all eligible Texans are informed and ready to confidently cast their vote when they head to the polls.”

Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs

Hughs also reminded Texas voters to observe the recommended health care protocols (PDF) released by her office, which are meant to help ensure the health and safety of all voters, election office personnel, polling place workers, and poll watchers.

Hughs pointed out that during the early voting period, voters may cast a ballot at any location in their county of registration. On Election Day, only voters registered in a county that participates in the Countywide Polling Place Program (CWPP) can cast a ballot at any location in the county. In counties that do not participate in the CWPP, Texas voters must cast a ballot in their precinct of registration on Election Day.

Hughs said voters can check their registration status and view additional voting information online through the Texas Secretary of State’s ‘Am I Registered?‘ tool. 

She said voters may also contact their respective county elections offices directly for more information about their ballot and appropriate polling location.

Texas voters who wish to cast a ballot by mail must ensure their Application for Ballot by Mail (ABBM) (PDF) is received by the Early Voting Clerk in their county of registration by Friday, October 23rd. 

(Editor’s Note: Click here to learn more about the requirements for voting by mail in Texas).

Hughs reminded Texans that eligible Texas voters who possess one of the seven approved forms of photo ID must present that ID at the polls. Voters who do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID can fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration (PDF) form, which is available at each polling location, and provide a supporting form of identification. Certain voters may qualify for certain exemptions to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration (PDF) procedure.

The seven forms of approved photo ID are:

Hughs pointed out that with the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, the acceptable photo ID must be current or, for voters aged 18-69, have expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. A voter 70 years of age or older may use a form of acceptable photo ID listed above that has expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.

If a voter does not possess one of the forms of acceptable photo identification listed above, and the voter cannot reasonably obtain such identification, the voter may fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration form (PDF), which will be available at each polling location, and present a copy or original of one of the following supporting forms of identification:

  • a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter’s voter registration certificate;
  • a current utility bill;
  • a bank statement;
  • a government check;
  • a paycheck;
  • a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate; or
  • a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document)

The address on an acceptable form of photo identification or a supporting form of identification, if applicable, does not have to match the voter’s address on the list of registered voters.

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.

Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure at the polls. Voters with a religious objection to being photographed or voters who do not present an acceptable form of photo identification or follow the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure at the polls because of certain natural disasters may apply for a temporary exemption to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure. For more details, voters may contact their county voter registrar.

Voters with questions about how to cast a ballot in upcoming elections can call 1-800-252-VOTE

For more information on voting in Texas, visit VoteTexas.gov

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows voters waiting to exercise their democratic right in Harris County on the first day of early voting for the 2020 presidential election.


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