US Election 2020: How to vote in Texas
Texans are already voting so don’t miss your opportunity to have your voice heard. This is what voters need to know ahead of the presidential election.
Texans have several options for voting this year. Mail-in ballots, in-person early voting and in-person election day voting. If you have a medical condition that doesn’t allow you to enter your polling place throughout The Lone Star State curbside voting is permitted. In Harris county this year drive through early voting has been made able to all voters. To find out where you can vote the you can use the state’s precinct locator. You can also contact your county election clerk for information.
No matter when you plan to vote in-person make sure to take time to do a few simple things to save time and make you vote count to its fullest. Firstly, you should check out a sample form of the ballot before heading off to cast your vote to know what to expect when you are in the booth. Also you can inform your decision more thoroughly a good place to check is at Ballotpedia where you can also get information on the issues and the politicians if you have questions. You can also access a list of the candidates on the Texas Secretary of State page but I found the Ballotpedia more user friendly.
What do I need to vote?
First and foremost, make sure that you are registered to vote. You can check here for your registration status with the state.
The primary item you must bring with you is a valid photo identification with a signature, there are seven acceptable forms, check what is valid here. To avoid problems, it would be wise to have a supporting form of identification please check the state’s list.
What if I don't have a photo ID
If you don’t have ID with you, there are a couple of options open to you. One is to fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and then cast your ballot but you will be asked for an alternate form of identification. If you don’t have any way to prove your identity, the other option is to turn in a provisional ballot. You will then be required to visit the county voter registrar’s office within six calendar days of the election to present your ID or a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. For more information please visit the Texas election web page.
Texas is experiencing record turnout for early voting so expect to wait in line. Take into account what you will carry with you to pass the time, check the weather and dress appropriately, and don’t forget a mask and to socially distance. Be sure to have a charger for your devices and a chair if you’ll need to rest your legs.
Can I still register to vote?
Voter registration has ended in Texas for the general election on 5 October. That doesn’t mean you can’t get ahead of the game and register to vote now to be on the rolls for any future elections.
Do I have to vote in person?
Not necessarily. A mail-in ballot request must be received by 23 October and receipt of the returned ballot must be by 7:00 p.m. on 3 November. However due to slowdowns in the US Post Service it is recommended to get everything done as soon as possible. You can use the state’s ballot tracker here.
Keep in mind these five dates
- 5 October: Last day to register to vote
- 13 October: First day of in-person early voting
- 23 October: Last day to apply for an absentee ballot (Received, not postmarked)
- 30 October: Last day of in-person early voting
- 3 November: Election Day in-person voting
- Mail-in ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. 3 November
- Overseas ballots must be received by the 5th day after the election
- Members of the US armed forces, merchant marines, their spouse and dependents ballots must be received by the 6th day after the election.
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