10 things to know at the polls
Voting is our right, and it’s important to know your rights as a voter so you can advocate for yourself and others at the polls.
1. If the address on your ID does not match the address you’re registered under…
The address on your ID does NOT have to match the address you’re registered under. This is especially important for college students who may have a different permanent address, but are registered to vote in the county they attend school.
As long as you are at the correct voting location for the county under which you are registered and have the proper form of a Texas photo ID, you should be able to vote, even if the addresses do not match up.
2. If you do not have an accepted form of photo ID…
Valid voter registration certificate (card)
Certified birth certificate
Current utility bill
Any other government document with the individual’s name and address
Voters who present one of these alternate documents and sign the declaration form should be allowed to vote a regular ballot. So, don’t agree to a provisional ballot if you’ve taken the steps above.
Note: Student IDs are not an accepted form of ID.
3. If you registered to vote on time, but it has not been updated in the system…
Inform the poll worker that you registered on time. Ask when your registration will be updated and if you can cast a provisional ballot in the meantime. The state must notify you as to whether your ballot was counted.
4. If you want to vote straight ticket…
You can still vote straight ticket! But if you do, wait for your ballot to load, double-check your choices, and then cast your ballot. Voters have reported a kink in some of the voting machines when voting straight ticket.
5. If the poll workers will not let you cast a normal ballot...
Insist on casting a provisional ballot.
6. If the poll workers still will not let you vote or you sense something is off...
Call an election protection hotline, either nationally or in the state. You can also contact the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Texas Civil Rights Project election protection hotline.
7. If you see another person being turned away at the polls…
Inform them that they can cast a provisional ballot. While you’re not allowed to advocate for a candidate within 100 feet of a polling location, as long as your actions are not politically motivated, you’re well within your right to give them this information.
8. If you think discriminatory practices are taking place…
Call an election protection hotline right away, along with the Secretary of State’s office and your local election official.
9. If you’re being told to leave…
Don’t leave your polling location until you’ve cast a ballot. Even if you have to fill out a provisional ballot, it’s better than not casting one at all.
10. If you don’t have a stamp to vote by mail...
The postal service will deliver your mail-in ballot without a stamp.
If you have a problem voting and think your rights have been denied, call (866) OUR- VOTE. There will be lawyers on the other end to help.
Overall, get excited to vote! You’re making your voice heard and helping to shape the future of Texas. Need some inspiration? Check out Inspire Progress.