A Guide To Your Rights As A Voter

Who May Vote in Texas?

Any United States citizen residing in Texas who is:

  • Legally registered to vote in Texas
  • At least 18 years old on Election Day
  • Not a convicted felon (unless sentence, probation and parole are completed)
  • Not declared mentally incompetent by a court of law

How to register to vote

  • Register with the Department of Public Safety when applying for or making changes to a driver’s license;
  • Register in person at the county Voter Registrar’s Office. (In most Texas counties, the Tax Assessor-Collector is also the Voter Registrar. In some counties, the County Clerk or Elections Administrator registers voters); or
  • Register by mail. You may obtain an application from the county Voter Registrar’s Office, the Secretary of State’s Office, libraries, many post offices, high schools and on the web at www.sos.state.tx.us.
  • Read the instructions on the form, fill it out and mail it, postage-free, to the Voter Registrar in your county; or take it to the Voter Registrar’s Office in your county.
  • You must be at least 17 years and 10 months of age on the date you apply.
  • With your permission, your spouse, parent or child may fill out and sign an application for you if that person is a registered voter or has applied for voter registration. This person is known as your "agent."
  • The application must be received in the voter registrar’s office or postmarked 30 days before an election for you to be eligible to vote in that election.

Voter registration certificate

  • Once you apply, a voter registration certificate (proof of registration) will be mailed to you within 30 days.
  • Check your certificate to be sure all information is correct. (If there is a mistake, make corrections and return it to the voter registrar immediately.)
  • When you go to the polls to vote, present your certificate as proof of registration.
  • You may vote without your certificate by signing an affidavit at the polling place and showing some other form of identification (for example, driver’s license, birth certificate, copy of electric bill).
  • If you lose your certificate, notify your county Voter Registrar in writing to receive a new one.
  • You will automatically receive a new certificate every two years, if you haven’t moved from the address at which you are registered.

If you move within the county

If you move within the same county, promptly notify the Voter Registrar, in writing, of your new address by:

  • correcting your current voter registration certificate on the back and returning it to the Voter Registrar;
  • filling out a new voter registration application form and checking the "change" box; or
  • making simultaneous changes to your driver’s license and voter registration when you apply for or update your driver’s license.

You will receive a new certificate with your new address.

You will be able to vote in your new precinct 30 days after your change of address is submitted.

If you miss the deadline (30 days before an election), you may vote in your former precinct as long as you still reside in the political subdivision conducting the election.

Your residence is located in a specific "precinct," which is an area within the county. There are many precincts within a county. The place where you will vote on Election Day is located in your precinct. There may be combined precincts in order to accommodate joint local elections; therefore, in some elections you may vote outside your designated precinct. The County Clerk or Elections Administrator can give you the specific location of your polling place.

If you move to another county

You must reregister! Fill out a new application and mail it, or take it in person, to the Voter Registrar of your new county.

You will be registered 30 days after your application is submitted.

You will receive a new certificate.

If your registration in the new county is not yet effective, you may be able to vote a "limited" ballot in your new county of residence on candidates or issues common between your old and new county. You may vote this "limited" ballot for 90 days after moving and only during early voting by personal appearance (not Election Day) or by mail, if:

  • you were registered to vote in your former county at the time you moved; and
  • an election is held within 90 days after the move.

Name change

Promptly notify the Voter Registrar, in writing, of the change using the same steps as for IF YOU MOVE WITHIN THE COUNTY.

You will receive a new certificate 30 days after your name change notice is submitted.

You may continue to vote during this period. If you do not have your certificate in hand, you may sign an affidavit at the polls and present a form of identification.

Commonly Asked Questions That Every Voter Should Know:

Q. Where do I vote?

A. Polling places are usually listed in your local newspapers in the weeks before the election. Call your County Clerk, County Elections Administrator, or political subdivision conducting the election in order to find your polling location.

Q. What is "early voting?"

A. "Early voting" is a way to cast your ballot before Election Day either in person or by mail.

  • In person – Call your County Clerk or Elections Administrator for early voting dates, hours and places.
  • By mail – If you will be: (1) out of the county during early voting and on Election Day; (2) age 65 or older; (3) sick or disabled; or (4) confined to jail, call the Elections Administrator in charge of the particular election and ask him to send you an application for a ballot by mail. Or, you may request one from the Secretary of State’s Office at 1.800.252.VOTE (8683), or on-line at www.sos.state.tx.us.

For more information, Contact:

  • the Secretary of State’s Office toll-free at 1.800.252.VOTE (8683)
  • County Clerk
  • County Elections Administrator
  • Voter Registrar

Published by the Elections Division
of the Secretary of State's Office
1.800.252.VOTE (8683)