Voter ID or Voter Suppression?
Back in 2011, Texas lawmakers passed one of the strictest voter identification laws in the country. This original law was successfully challenged in court, and was found to improperly discriminate against voters by race. The Texas Legislature has since tried to change the law to address these findings, but the ultimate fate of Texas’ voter identification law is still pending further legal action. In the meantime, a recent court ruling allows the revised voter ID rules to be used for the upcoming November 7, 2017 elections.
What does this mean for you?
To vote on November 7th, you will be asked to show an approved photo ID from the following listed forms; however, importantly, you can still vote if you do not have an approved photo ID, as explained below.
Forms of acceptable photo IDs:
- 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
With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the approved photo ID must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.
Alternative to Showing Photo ID
You can still vote without an approved photo ID. To do so, at the polling place ask to sign a declaration explaining why you are unable to obtain an approved photo ID AND provide one of the following documents:
- Certified birth certificate (must be an original)
- Valid voter registration certificate
- 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, although government documents which include a photo must be original and cannot be copies.
If you have questions about casting your ballot in this election, you can call 1-800-252-VOTE (8683) or go to the Secretary of State’s WEBSITE.