TEXAS — You've remembered your driver's license or picture ID, you have the right polling place, and yet you are turned away at the polls on Election Day.
What happens now?
There are any number of reasons why you may be told you can't vote on Election Day. Maybe you've moved recently and haven't updated your registration. Maybe you haven't voted in a while and you've been marked as inactive.
This does not mean you should walk out of the precinct and not vote.
Here is what you should do.
DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT POLLING PLACE?
- Make sure you have the right polling place. You can look up your polling place, which should be based on your current address, by going to your county elections office. We have links on our Decision 2020 Voting Guide.
- With the pandemic, not all polling places will be open, but there are several locations in every county in the state and you can find them here.
- Know that if you haven't updated your address with the local elections office, you may be challenged at the polls. You can update your address if you moved within the county, and a poll worker can help either direct you to the right polling place or update your address.
- If you recently moved into the county, you need to call the supervisor of elections office in your county for help in handling your registration.
DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT VOTER IDENTIFICATION?
Here's what qualifies as an acceptable form of ID in Texas:
- 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, for voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.
If for any reason you are not in the system, take the following steps:
- Ask poll workers to check any surrounding systems for your name
- Ask to sign an affidavit swearing your eligibility
- Call or visit your local elections office if you are not being helped by poll workers
- Ask for a provisional ballot and follow up afterwards to make sure it's counted. You may have to provide additional information.
STILL BEING TURNED AWAY FROM THE POLLS?
Remember to be calm and clear in your intentions. Don't get aggressive or overly frustrated. Make it clear you are there to exercise your right to vote. Then call local election officials to report any ill treatment by poll workers and to get help voting.
If you are still not getting satisfaction, you can call your county's elections administrator
- The U.S. Dept. of Justice Voting Rights Hotline: 1-800-253-3931