AUSTIN – Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs today encouraged all eligible Texas voters to take advantage of the early voting period ahead of the May 1st election, which begins on Monday, April 19th and ends on Tuesday, April 27th. Voters across the state will have the opportunity to cast ballots in county, local, and political subdivision elections, including those for mayor, city council, school board, municipal utility districts, and other local entities. Secretary Hughs reminded voters to research the candidates and measures that will appear on their ballot and to prepare to make their voices heard.
The Secretary also reminded all eligible Texas voters to continue 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 in Texas.
“Starting next week, Texas voters will have the opportunity to make their voices heard by voting on candidates and measures that will directly affect the governance of their cities, towns, school districts, and other localities,” said Secretary Hughs. “I encourage all eligible Texans to set aside time to ensure that they are informed and prepared so that they can confidently cast their vote and help shape the future of the Lone Star State.”
As of this month, there are 16,670,187 registered voters in Texas.
Eligible Texas voters should contact their respective county elections office to view a sample ballot, locate their appropriate polling place, and plan their trip to the polls. Voters can also find extensive information regarding the May 1st election at VoteTexas.gov
Texas voters who are eligible to vote by mail must ensure that their Application for Ballot by Mail (ABBM) (PDF) is received by the Early Voting Clerk in their county of registration by Tuesday, April 20th. Learn more about requirements for voting by mail in Texas.
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 may execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration form, available to them at each polling location, and provide a supporting form of identification. In addition, certain voters may qualify for an exemption to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure.
The seven forms of approved photo ID are:
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, 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
- 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 www.VoteTexas.gov