New DPS voter program not available in East Texas - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

New DPS voter program not available in East Texas

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Texas Secretary of State John Steen visited Tyler Wednesday to spread the word about the new voter I.D. law.

This new law will be implemented in the next election, on November 5th. It will require Texans to have an acceptable form of photo I.D. when they show up to the polls.

"This is to make sure that the person that is showing up to vote is the person that is registered," said Karen Nelson, Elections Administrator for Smith County.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has extended its' services in helping Texans get their Election Identification Certificates (EIC's).

There are nearly 50 DPS offices that will offering Saturday hours to provide EIC's. These select offices will be open from 10 a.m.- 2p.m. on Saturdays until November 2nd.

However, this will not be available in East Texas.

"I believe the determination on which DPS offices will be open on Saturdays was based on an analysis on where the need for EIC's was greatest," said Steen.

Steen did ensure East Texans can receive their EIC during regular business hours of the DPS Monday-Friday.

Not every East Texan will need an EIC to vote. You will not need an EIC if you have the following:

  • Texas driver license: unexpired or expired less than 60 days at the time of voting
  • Texas personal identification card: unexpired or expired less than 60 days at the time of voting
  • U.S. passport book or card: unexpired or expired less than 60 days at the time of voting -Texas concealed handgun license - unexpired or expired less than 60 days at the time of voting
  • U.S. Military identification with photo: unexpired or expired less than 60 days
  • U.S. citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization with photo.

Those who do not have these forms of identification will need to get an EIC to vote.

Steen says they are trying to make the process as convenient as possible, and announced they will be deploying 25 EIC mobile stations on different routes throughout Texas.

"We are so interested in making sure that everybody who needs an EIC gets one. So we are going to have mobile stations, and take them through the neighborhoods. Hopefully we can sign people up that way," said Steen.

To apply for an EIC you will need to do the following:

  • Bring documentation to the office to verify U.S. citizenship 
  • Bring documentation to the office to verify Identity
  • Be eligible to vote in Texas (Bring a valid voter registration card or submit a voter registration application through the Texas Department of Public Safety at the office) 
  • Be a Texas resident
  • Be 17 years and 10 months or older

EIC's are free of charge, and are valid for six years.

There is no expiration date for an EIC for citizens 70 years of age or older, and they are strictly for voting purposes only.

For more information on obtaining an EIC, click here.

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