- I’m not sure if I’m registered; how can I confirm my voter registration status?
You can confirm your registration status by going to our Voter Look Up. You can base your search on: 1. your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID), which appears on your voter registration certificate; or 2. your first and last name, year of birth, and county you are from. Another alternative is by going to Am I Registered to Vote? Website or you can call the voter registrar’s office in the county where you reside. To find the number, review the list of County Voter Registration Officials.
- I'm not registered, but want to vote in the next election; how can I be sure that I'm registered in time to vote?
The deadline to register and be eligible to vote for every election in Texas is 30 days prior to Election Day. Your registration card can be either postmark dated or turn in to the office of the voter registrar on the last day to register to vote. You may, of course, register at any time before that date to ensure that your registration is effective for voting. You can obtain a voter registration application by requesting one from Texas Secretary of State website, your voter registrar's office, libraries, most post offices, high schools, or from our office. To request a postage-paid voter registration application (you may also download an informal application at this site)
- If I send my registration by the deadline, what happens next?
Your voter registration becomes effective 30 days after it is submitted (and accepted*) by the county voter registrar. The county office will then put your name on the voter registration list, generate your voter certificate and mail it to you. Once received, be sure to read the information on the back of the certificate, sign by the X on the "front" of the card (the colored area) and keep your voter card in a safe place. This is what you will take with you to the polls to vote with an acceptable form of ID. Note that as long as your name is on the voter list, you may vote without presenting this certificate, but you must provide a form of ID. Click to see the acceptable forms of IDs. *If your original application is missing required information, you will receive a notice in the mail and have a deadline to respond to the notice.
- I am registered to vote, but I moved this past year. Is there anything I need to do to make sure that I won't have a problem voting this year?
If you moved within the same county where you are currently registered, you must file the new address information in writing with your voter registrar OR you may submit the "in county" change online. The last day to make a change of address is also the last day to register to vote which is 30 days prior to Election Day. If you missed this deadline, you may return to your old precinct to vote. You will be required to complete a "statement of residence" confirming your new address in your new precinct.If you moved to a “new county,” you must re-register in your new county of residence by the registration deadline to be eligible to vote in the upcoming election. Addresses and phone numbers of Voter Registration Officials. LIMITED BALLOT OPTION: If you have moved to a new county and have not re-registered in the new county by the registration deadline, you may be eligible to vote a limited ballot in your new county under certain conditions. You are eligible to vote a limited ballot if you moved from one county to another, and you are either still registered in your former county of residence or were registered in the former county of residence when you applied to register in your new county. A limited ballot means that you would be allowed to vote on any candidates and measures in common between your former and new county. You may only vote a limited ballot during early voting—not on election day. For full information on this procedure, go to Special Forms of Early Voting. If you feel you qualify to vote a limited ballot, we recommend that you contact the office of the Early Voting Clerk in your new county.
- I don't remember seeing my certificate lately. Is that a problem? Don't I just stay registered?
New certificates are mailed out every two years to the most recent address you gave to the voter registrar. If you do not recall receiving one, it could mean that you have moved without updating, or there is some other problem with your registration. If the certificate was mailed to an old address, it was returned to the registrar, and you were placed on the "suspense list" in that county. This means you have a grace period that allows you to vote in the same county in your old precinct, but If you do not vote, your name will be removed from the rolls after two federal elections have passed since you were placed on the suspense list. If you did not receive your certificate because you moved to a new Texas county, you will need to re-register.
- I can't find my voter certificate/card. Will I be able to vote without it?
If you are a registered voter and you have lost or misplaced your voter certificate, you may vote without your certificate by providing one of the require forms of identification (acceptable IDs).
- How can I be sure that I'm still on the voter rolls in the county where I reside?
You can check the status of your voter registration by using our search site Voter Look Up, where you will select one of two methods for conducting your search. You can base your search on: 1. your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID), which appears on your voter registration certificate; or 2. your first and last name, year of birth, and county of residence. The alternative will be for you to call the voter registrar’s office in the county where you reside. To find the number, review the list of County Voter Registration Officials.
- Can anybody vote early, or only those people who are going to be out of town on Election Day? What are the dates for Early Voting?
Any registered voter may vote early by personal appearance. For most elections, early voting is held for two weeks before Election Day. During early voting, you can vote at any polling location in you county. To get more information on early voting polling locations check our website. We will be posting this information as we get close to the election. Also many newspapers publish Early Voting and Election Day polling locations, so you might be able to find the information there or you may want to contact the Early Voting Clerk for State and County Elections in your county.
- Can anybody vote early by mail (also referred to as absentee voting)?
Only specific reasons entitle a registered voter to vote early by mail (no longer called absentee voting). You may request a ballot by mail if you:
- Will be away from your county on Election Day and during early voting;
- Are sick or disabled;
- Are 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
- Are confined in jail.
- I fall under one of the 4 reasons above. What do I do now? Are there deadlines connected with this procedure?
First, request an Application for Ballot by Mail (ABBM) from the Early Voting Clerk in the political subdivision conducting your election, or from our office. Once received, read the instructions carefully, complete the ABBM form and return it to the Early Voting Clerk. There is a deadline to request a ballot by mail. Check with you County or the Texas Secretary of State Website to find out when that is and be able to request a form. To learn more about the ABBM process and to request an ABBM from our office (or print one directly from the web)
- Does a voter have to vote in the main election in order to vote in a runoff-election?
Section 11.001 of the Texas Election Code prescribes the specific qualifications necessary in order to vote in a Texas election. There is no specific requirement to have previously voted in the main election in order to participate in the subsequent run-off election. Therefore, such a requirement cannot be enforced.
Take Your ID
When you go vote the following are acceptable forms of identification you need:
- Texas Election Identification Certificate
- Texas Driver License
- Texas Personal Identification Card
- Texas Concealed Handgun License
- US. Passport
- US Military Identification Cards (CAC)
- Uniformed Services ID Cards
- Veterans Affairs ID Cards
- U.S. Certificate of Naturalization
- U.S. Certificate of Citizenship
Unable to obtain one of these IDs? Fill out a declaration at the polls explaining why and bring one of the following supporting documents:
- Valid Voter Registration Certificate
- Certified Birth Certificate (Must Be Original)
- Copy of/Original Current Utility Bill
- Copy of/Original Bank Statement
- Copy of/Original Government Check
- Copy of/Original Paycheck
- Copy of/Original Government Document With Your Name and an Address (Original Required if it Contains a Photograph)
You Have Rights!
As a registered voter in Texas, you have the right to:
- A Ballot
A ballot with written instructions on how to cast a ballot.
Ask the polling place official for instructions on how to cast a ballot (but not suggestions on how to vote).
Cast your vote in secret and free from intimidation.
- A second chance
Receive up to two more ballots if you make a mistake while marking the ballot.
- An interpreter
Bring an interpreter to assist you as you qualify to vote if you do not understand the English language.
Help to cast your ballot if you cannot write, see the ballot, or understand the language in which it is written.
- Report Abuse
Report a possible voting rights abuse to the Secretary of State (1.800.252.8683) or to your local election official.
- A Provisional Ballot
Cast a provisional ballot if your name does not appear on the list of registered voters or you do not have proper identification.
- Early Voting
Vote once at any early voting location during the early voting period within the territory conducting the election.
- File a complaint
File an administrative complaint with the Secretary of State concerning violations of federal and state voting procedures.
- My vote doesn’t count.
Every vote counts. You count as a citizen of this nation and have the power to express consent for an elected official. Even if you went to a polling location and only voted for one person, it will be counted. By law your vote has to be counted. Your ballot cannot be skipped or ignored otherwise it is unconstitutional. Some people get discouraged and believe that their vote doesn’t count when they read about pre-election polls, and see that their candidate is in the losing streak. We have to remember that these are just estimates and they do not accurately reflect the turnout of an election. Sometimes elections can come down to a small number of votes which greatly affects how your city, state, and nation are run. Your vote counts, vote!
- If I register, I will be called to jury duty.
Not necessarily, now a days more states get their jury pool from a list of people who purchase a vehicle, a house, obtain their driver’s license from the DMV, or file an income-tax return. In the state of Texas jurors are selected from a combined list of registered voters, people who are licensed to drive, or hold a Texas Identification card. In other words, even if you are not registered to vote you can be summoned for jury duty if you hold a license or state ID. Ultimately, just like voting, serving the jury is a civic responsibility that we need to be a part of.
- Voting takes too much time.
Voting is easy. It only takes a few minutes to choose the elected officials you wish to vote for. While long lines are often the case during Election Day, you can always vote early during the Early Voting period at any polling location close to you. There is also voting by mail which you could apply for if you are not going to be in the county during Early Voting or Election Day, are sick or disabled, are 65 years old or older, or are confined in jail. If qualified, you will be sent a ballot by mail for you to vote at your convenience.
- I won’t be allowed to vote if I don’t have a photo ID.
A photo Identification is required to vote in the state of Texas. Other acceptable forms of ID include: a Texas driver license , Texas personal identification card, Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS, Texas concealed handgun license, United States military identification card with photo, United States citizenship certificate with photo, and United States passport. In the case you do not possess any of the approved forms of ID or do not wish to show an ID at the time of voting, you may be allowed to vote through a provisional ballot. http://votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/need-id/
- I have a disability, therefore, I cannot vote.
You have the right to vote as long as you are registered. Every US citizen has the opportunity to vote whether you have a disability or not. If you need help in the process by either reading, marking your vote, translating, or you are physically unable to enter the polling localities, you have the right to request assistance in any way that will make your voting process a lot easier. There is also the vote-by-mail method where you can request a ballot and mail back your vote.
- Someone will find out how I voted.
Whether you voted electronically or through a paper ballot, no one can find out how you voted unless you tell them. Election judges are assigned to every polling location to ensure fairness and honesty, and they are not allowed to see how you vote. At the end of the day, all paper ballots and electronic information are taken to the elections office to be counted and locked away. The only thing anyone can find out about you is whether you voted or not. Most counties post a list of all the people who voted the previous day. The list will only show that you voted, but not who you voted for.