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Texas Voting

The Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. weekdays, and during the hours that the polls are open on all uniform election dates (2nd Saturday in May and 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November). Statewide and federal elections (which are held in the months of March, April, and November). Answers to questions on election law and procedures may be obtained by telephoning the Elections Division toll-free at 1.800.252.VOTE (8683) or direct at 512.463.5650.

For additional information on election dates, deadlines, election law opinions or election returns, please visit our website at www.sos.state.tx.us.

Thank you for your interest in Texas elections. Please call the Elections Division staff if we can be of assistance.

Office of the Secretary of State
Elections Division

Who can vote in Texas?

To be eligible to register to vote in Texas, any United States citizen residing in Texas who is:

  • At least 18 years old on Election Day
  • Not a convicted felon (unless sentence, probation and/or parole are completed)
  • Not declared mentally incompetent by a court of law
How do you register?

Registering to vote is easy in Texas .  It doesn’t even require a stamp!  Official applications to register to vote are postage-paid by the State of Texas .  

In most Texas counties, the Tax Assessor-Collector is also the Voter Registrar. In some counties, the County Clerk or Elections Administrator registers voters.   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 http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/reqvr.shtml.  From our website, you may request that we send you an official, postage-paid application.  Or, you may download an informal application, but you will be required to affix a stamp before mailing.  You may also register to vote when you apply for or renew your driver’s license.

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. If for any reason you cannot register yourself, 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 in order for you to be eligible to vote in that election.  You will receive a voter registration certificate in the mail after the Voter Registrar has processed your voter registration application. Upon receipt of the voter registration certificate, sign it, fold it and keep in it in your wallet and take it to the polls with you when you vote.

All voters who registered to vote in Texas must provide a Texas driver’s license number or personal identification number issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.  If you do not have such a number, then you must state that fact and provide the last four digits of your social security number.  If you do not have a social security number, you must also state that fact.

What if I don’t have a driver’s license, personal identification number, OR a social security number?  Can I still register to vote in Texas ?

Even if you have not been issued any of three identification numbers requested on the application, you are still eligible to register to vote, but you will be required to provide proof of your identity.  You may enclose a copy of identification with your voter registration application, or you may present identification when you vote.  Acceptable identification includes:

What is considered an appropriate form of identification?

  • a driver's license or personal identification card issued to the person by the Department of Public Safety or a similar document issued to the person by an agency of another state, regardless of whether the license or card has expired;
  • a form of identification containing the person's photograph that establishes the person's identity;
  • a birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes the person's identity;
  • United States citizenship papers issued to the person;
  • a United States passport issued to the person;
  • official mail addressed to the person by name from a governmental entity;
  • a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter; or
  • any other form of identification prescribed by the Secretary of State.

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 simply go to the Secretary of State's web site and change your address online at www.texasonline.state.tx.us or 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, or you can check on-line to see if the County Clerk or Elections Administrator has that information posted. Also, you can always visit the Secretary of State's web site at www.sos.state.tx.us, as we link to many county web sites.

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 may not register online if you move from one county to another. 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 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
and your registration in your new county is not yet effective.

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 or visit www.sos.state.tx.us for a possible link.

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:

Secretary of State’s Office toll-free at 1.800.252.VOTE (8683)
Your local County Clerk (will be listed in the blue pages of your telephone book)
Your local County Elections Administrator
Voter Registrar (Tax Assessor-Collector)

www.sos.state.tx.us

Published by the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office

1.800.252.VOTE (8683)

This information is available in Spanish, large print, audiotape, or computer disc upon request.

(Este información está disponible en Español, tipo de imprenta más grande, cinta magnética para audio, o disco para computadora. Para conseguir una de estas versiones por favor llame sin cargo a la oficina del Secretario de Estado al 1.800.252.VOTE (8683)).

SECRETARY OF STATE
Elections Division
P.O. Box 12060
Austin, Texas 78711-2060
512.463.5650 or
1.800.252.VOTE (8683)
Fax 512.475.2811
TTY 7.1.1
www.sos.state.tx.us

FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
999 E Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20463
1.800.424.9530
www.fec.gov

TEXAS REPUBLICAN PARTY
900 Congress Avenue, Suite 300
Austin, Texas 78701
512.477.9821
www.texasgop.org

TEXAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY
707 Rio Grande Street
Austin, Texas 78701
512.478.9800
www.txdemocrats.org

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF TEXAS
P.O. Box 56426
Houston, Texas 77256-6426
1.800.422.1776
www.tx.lp.org

GREEN PARTY OF TEXAS
818 W. 31st Street
Houston, Texas 77018
713.866.6285
www.txgreens.org

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