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Government/Politics

Early Voting Begins Today In Texas

Early voting begins in the state today, Oct. 24, and runs through Nov. 4. Any registered voter may vote early in person. Or, to vote early by mail, you must complete an application that must be received by Oct. 28. Then you must submit your ballot by 7 p.m. on Nov. 8.

A record number of voters, more than 15 million people, registered to vote in Texas by the Oct. 11 deadline. In Bexar County alone, the number registered is at least 13 percent higher than in 2012, for the last presidential election.Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen isn’t surprised.
“When we have a first-term president or a non-incumbent our numbers have historically been bigger,” she said. 
To prepare for more voters casting ballots Callanen has increased the number of early voting locations in Bexar County from 32 to 43.  They’ll be open from 8 a.m. through 6 p.m. during the week-- longer on weekends. To find a polling location in Bexar County you can check here. For all other counties, click here.  
Bexar County is adding extra voting booths at some locations on Election Day.

Elections officials say because of a court decision Texas voters can cast ballots without photo ID's. If they are registered they’ll be asked to show an alternative type of identification like a current utility bill, of a bank statement. And they will have to sign an affidavit affirming they’re eligible to vote.
 
 
Voter eligibility and I.D.  requirements in Texas:
 
To be eligible to vote you must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old by election day and living in the county that matches your registration. Also, you must not be serving a sentence or parole for a felony conviction. Read more from the Texas Secretary of State's office on voting.

 
Here are the seven acceptable forms of voter identification:

  • Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas license to carry a handgun issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States passport

 

EarlyVoting.2016.LasPalmasOutdatedSign.jpg
Credit Courtesy of Marisa Bono
This out-of-date sign was spotted at several polling locations including Las Palmas Library. It contains incorrect information about the required identification to vote. For the correct ID check sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/id/acceptable-forms-of-ID.pdf

If a voter can't present one of those seven forms of ID, the voter can sign a declaration at the polls explaining why he or she can't obtain of the approved forms and provide one of the following forms of supporting documentation:

 

  • A certified birth certificate (must be original)
  • A valid voter registration certificate
  • A copy or original of one of the following: current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck or other government document that shows the voter’s name and an address.
  • Government documents which include a photo must be original and cannot be copies.

 More voter information for Bexar County and the surrounding counties can be found here.