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DPS Begins Issuing Free Voter Certificates, Photo ID Or Not

Chris Eudaily
TPR News

Now that the Texas Voter ID law is firmly in place, the Department of Public Safety will begin issuing Election Identification certificates to voters without a Texas identification card.

With a key portion of the voting rights act eliminated, nothing is holding back the state from enforcing its embattled Voter ID Law. Voters at the polls will have to show some type of valid identification card. There are six different ID cards that can be used to vote.

“A Texas driver’s license, a personal ID card, a U.S. passport, [or] a Texas concealed handgun license,” said DPS spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger, offering examples of valid ID that can be used at the polls.

Those without any of those forms of identification can apply for an Election Identification Certificate. The Election ID is like a photo ID, but only has election information on it, and can only be used for voting. To obtain one, you need to apply at a driver’s license office and cannot already have any other form of photo identification.

“If you’re approved and you receive one then you’ll get a receipt the day of that approval and you’ll walk away with that [receipt], which you can use to vote until you get the permanent card delivered by mail. That receipt will have your photo on it, so it will suffice as an approved document to vote in Texas elections,” Cesinger added.

The free certificate is valid for six years and does not need to be renewed by people over the age of 70. The only people who are eligible to vote without an ID are those with a documented permanent disability who apply for exemption.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules