With the upcoming Feb. 5 voter registration deadline, Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos issued one last call-to-action by urging Texans to register and take the appropriate steps to be prepared to vote.
“Early preparedness is key for all Texans wishing to cast a vote. If you want your voice to be heard, you have to be prepared,” Pablos said. “It is imperative that all Texans wishing to cast a vote start early and undertake the necessary preparations to be able to vote. I personally want to make sure that all Texans who go to the polls during our state’s first-in-the-nation primary are properly registered and know what they need to bring in order to cast their ballot.”
Eligible Texans who are not already registered to vote must complete a voter registration application and submit it to the county voter registrar in their county of residence. In San Jacinto County, the Elections Administrator is Vicki Shelly. She can be contacted by phone at 936-653-5804. Her fax number is 936-653-5808. She is located at 51 E. Pine Ave, Room A1, Coldspring.
Completed voter registration applications must be postmarked by Feb. 5 in order to be accepted. Texans may check to see if they are already registered to vote through the by visiting votetexas.gov.
“I commend all Texans who take responsibility for their civic duty by exercising their right to vote,” Pablos said. “Most importantly, I encourage all Texans to work together to ensure that our youngest generation is instilled with a tradition of voting and encouraged to make their voices heard at the ballot box."
Texas voters who possess one of the seven approved forms of photo ID that they must present that ID at the polls. Voters who do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID may execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration form, available to them at each polling location, and provide a supporting form of identification. In addition, certain voters may qualify for certain exemptions to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure.
“As election season approaches, my office is working diligently to ensure all eligible Texans understand proper voting procedures and requirements under Texas law,” Pablos said. “The Texas Secretary of State’s office is committed to providing information for all voters and educational resources to assist local election officials in conducting successful elections throughout the Lone Star State.”
The seven forms of approved photo ID are:
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 Handgun License 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 (book or card)
With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, the acceptable photo ID must be current or, for voters aged 18-69, have expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. A voter 70 years of age or older may use a form of acceptable photo ID listed above that has expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.
If a voter does not possess one of the forms of acceptable photo identification listed above, and the voter cannot reasonably obtain such identification, the voter may fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration form, which will be available at each polling location, and present a copy or original of one of the following supporting forms of identification:
a government document that shows the voter's name and an address, including the voter's voter registration certificate
a current utility bill
a bank statement
a government check
a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate
a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter's identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
The address on an acceptable form of photo identification or a supporting form of identification, if applicable, does not have to match the voter's address on the list of registered voters.
If a voter meets these requirements and is otherwise eligible to vote, the voter will be able to cast a regular ballot in the election.
Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure at the polls. Voters with a religious objection to being photographed or voters who do not present an acceptable form of photo identification or follow the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure at the polls because of certain natural disasters may apply for a temporary exemption to presenting an acceptable form of photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure. For more details, voters may contact Shelly.
Voters with questions about how to cast a ballot in upcoming elections can call 1-800-252-VOTE
For more information on voting in Texas, visit votetexas.gov.