Voting FAQ: Everything Texans need to know about voter registration, early voting, Election Day

Texans are preparing to cast votes in a slew of local, state and federal races Nov. 3. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texans are preparing to cast votes in a slew of local, state and federal races Nov. 3. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Texans are preparing to cast votes in a slew of local, state and federal races Nov. 3. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Texans are preparing to cast votes in a slew of local, state and federal races Nov. 3. Here is what you need to know, according to the Texas Secretary of State's Office.

Q: Am I registered to vote?


A: To verify voter registration status, the Texas Secretary of State’s Office requires one of three forms of identification: a driver’s license number, a Voter ID number or a first and last name along with a county of residence, date of birth and ZIP code. Voters can find out their status at this link.

Q: I’m registered, but I recently moved. Do I need to let someone know?


A: It depends on the location of the move. If it happened within the same county, the voter registrar should be notified in writing. There are several ways to do this. Visit this link for more information. If the move was to a different county, re-registration is required. See the necessary steps below.

Q: I’m registered, but I changed my name. Do I need to let someone know?


A: Yes, the county registrar should be notified of the change in writing. For more information on how to do this, see the bottom of this page.

Q: If I’m not registered, what do I do?


A: Voters can register by mail or in person. Texas does not offer online registration.

Q: I don’t have a driver’s license. Can I still register to vote?


A: Yes. Texas accepts seven different forms of identification. Options include an election ID certificate, a personal ID card, a handgun license, a U.S. citizenship certificate with a photo, a military ID card with a photo, or a passport.

Q: I want to register in person. Where do I go?


A: Voters can register at their county’s voter registrar’s office. To find your county’s office, visit this link.

Q: I want to register by mail. How do I do that?


A: Voters can fill out an application online, print it, sign it and mail it to their county’s voter registrar’s office. The registration is effective 30 days after it is received and accepted by the registrar. Applications are also available at many post offices, public libraries, government offices or high schools.

Q: When is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election?


A: The deadline is Oct. 5. If an application is postmarked on or before this date, it is eligible for approval by the registrar.

Q: I’m registered. When can I vote?


Early voting in Texas begins Oct. 13 and ends Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 3. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Election Day.

Q: I’m voting in person. Where do I go?


A: Each voter is provided with a Voter ID card. This includes a precinct number, which indicates where a voter is eligible to vote. In some counties, residents can vote at any designated polling location in their county during early voting and on Election Day. To check whether your county participates in the Countywide Polling Place Program, visit this link.

Q: What do I need to bring with me to the polls?


A: Texans need a photo ID to vote. Acceptable forms of identification include a Texas driver’s license, an election ID certificate, a personal ID card, a handgun license, a U.S citizenship certificate with a photo, a military ID card with a photo, or a passport.

Q: I don’t have an ID. Can I still vote?


A: Voters without a photo ID are required to sign a sworn affidavit that exempts them from the ID requirement, but they must still provide another form of identification. For more information, visit this link.

Q: Can I vote by mail in Texas?


A: Only some Texas voters are eligible to request mail-in ballots. To do so, an individual must be age 65 or older, disabled, out of the county on Election Day or during early voting by personal appearance, or confined in jail.

Q: I am eligible to vote by mail. How do I apply?


A: Voters can print an application to vote by mail from the Texas Secretary of State's Office website. It must be printed, filled out, signed and mailed to the early voting clerk in the voter’s county. The application can also be faxed. Contact info for each county’s early voting clerk can be found here. For more details on this process, visit this link.

Q: When is the deadline to apply to vote by mail?


The application must be received, not postmarked, by Friday, Oct. 23.

Q: What is the deadline to vote by mail?


A: If the envelope is not postmarked, mail-in ballots must be received by Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. If postmarked by Nov. 3 at 7 p.m., the ballot will be accepted up to Nov. 4 at 5 p.m.


Editor’s note: The original post has been edited to correct an error. The age for eligibility to vote by mail is 65 or older.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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