AUSTIN – Texas Secretary of State David Whitley today encouraged all eligible Texas voters to take advantage of the early voting period ahead of the May 4th election, which begins on Monday, April 22nd and ends on Tuesday, April 30th. Voters across the state will be casting ballots in local political subdivision elections, including those for mayor, city council, school board, municipal utility districts, and other local entities. Secretary Whitley urged voters to research the candidates and measures that will appear on their ballot and prepare to make their voices heard.
“Starting next week, Texas voters will have the opportunity to make important choices about the governance in their cities, towns, school districts, and other localities,” Secretary Whitley said. “I strongly encourage all eligible Texas voters to plan their trip to the polls now so they can be prepared to cast a ballot during the early voting period or on Election Day. It is critical to make sure all eligible Texans have a voice in shaping the future of their local communities.”
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.
Voters can check their registration status and view additional voting information online through the Texas Secretary of State’s ‘Am I Registered?’ tool. 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 Tuesday, April 23rd. Learn more about requirements for voting by mail in Texas.
Additionally, Secretary Whitley reminded eligible Texas voters who possess one of the seven approved forms of photo ID that they 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:
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 Texas voters affected by Hurricane Harvey, click here for additional information and resources.
For more information on voting in Texas, visit www.votetexas.gov