AUSTIN (KXAN) — With Election Day on Nov. 8 and early voting starting on Oct. 24, many eligible voters are gearing up to head to the ballot box. But what do you need to get registered here in Texas, and what should you bring with you on Election Day?
For newcomers to Texas or those updating their voter registration, here’s what you need to know before the voter registration deadline on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Who’s eligible to vote in Texas?
The state of Texas has outlined several criteria people must meet in order to be eligible to vote. Those include:
- U.S. citizen
- Resident of county where the voter registration application is submitted
- The resident is at least 17 years and 10 months old on the date their voter registration is submitted, and are 18 years old on Election Day
- The resident isn’t a convicted felon (some could be eligible if they’ve completed their sentence, probation and parole)
- The resident hasn’t been declared in a court of law to be “either totally mentally incapacitated or partially incapacitated without the right to vote”
How do you get registered or update your voter information?
Those who are new to Texas and registering to vote for the first time must complete the Texas Secretary of State’s online voter registration application. After filling out the form, they must print and sign it before either dropping it off in person to their county election office, or send via mail.
Unlike some other states, Texas is not one that allows people to register to vote 100% online.
If you are a Texas resident with an in-state driver’s license or state I.D. but not registered to vote, you can register online while renewing, replacing or changing your contact information through the Department of Public Safety.
DPS’s website has an online portal where residents can update their driver’s license information.
What do I need to bring with me on Election Day?
In Texas, there are seven forms of approved I.D.; eligible voters need to bring one form with them to the polls.
- Texas Driver License
- Texas Election I.D. Certificate
- Texas Personal I.D. Card
- Texas Handgun License
- U.S. Citizenship Certificate with Photo
- U.S. Military I.D. Card
- U.S. Passport (book or card)
If someone who’s eligible to vote doesn’t have any of these forms, they can bring their certified domestic birth certificate or court-admissible birth document; current utility bill; bank statement; government check; paycheck; or a government document with your name and address, including your voter registration certificate.
Who’s eligible to vote by mail?
Voting by mail is an option for some Texas residents, including those who are 65 years and older; are sick or have a disability; are out of the county on Election Day and during the early voting period; are expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day; or are confined to jail but otherwise eligible.
What are key dates for Texas elections?
Election Day is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 8. In advance of that are key deadlines, including:
- Oct. 11: Voter registration deadline
- Oct. 24: Early voting begins
- Oct. 28: Mail-in ballot application deadline
- Nov. 4: Early voting ends
For more information about Texas elections, head on over to votetexas.gov.