Voters must remember photo ID for March primary election

Published: Apr. 7, 2014 at 8:55 PM CDT
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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Election day is March 4, 2014. Even though this is a primary election, many local races for judge, county commissioner and district attorney will be decided in this election. This will also be the second election since the Texas voter ID law has gone into effect.

However, some people are still leery of the new law. It requires voters to present a photo ID at the polling place.

Beverly Jackson, a Smith County voter, never misses an opportunity to cast her ballot.

"I take elections very serious," she says.

So when both her own and her daughter's voter registration cards came with maiden names and misspellings, she was concerned.

"Why, of all times, this year, would the cards come out with errors on them, when it's so important with the new law that the cards match your drivers license?" asks Jackson.

The voter ID law requires people at the polls to present a photo ID before voting. Acceptable forms of photo ID include:

  • Texas drivers license
  • Texas personal ID card issued by DPS
  • Texas concealed handgun license
  • U.S. military ID
  • Citizenship certificate
  • U.S. passport

"If you don't have any of those six, you can go to DPS and get an election identification certificate," explains Nandita Berry, the Texas Secretary of State.

Berry is currently working to inform Texas voters about the voter ID law by taking a three-week tour through Texas.

"We want people to be aware of that requirement, and we want to make sure that they have one of those forms of voter ID," she explains.

Berry says she hears voter ID concerns loud and clear. She explains that the name on her own card didn't match her ID either, but it was a quick fix.

"When the election judge there saw that, she gave me an affidavit. I had to initial it. It took me about a second and then I went in and voted," Berry says.

Berry explains that any election judge should know to do the same thing for voters with small name or spelling discrepancies on their cards.

"I want to make sure that my voice is heard," says Jackson.

The Smith County Elections office says voter registration cards with errors can be fixed by correcting the error on the card, signing the back and mailing the card back to the county elections administrator. However, because the election is less than 30 days away, people who do this now will not get their replacement cards in time for the election. But remember, you do not need to have your voter card at the polling place to vote--you only need your photo ID.

The only voters who do not have to present a photo ID are voters who have a permanent disability exemption. You can apply for that exemption with the county registrar's office. If you have any other questions about voting or if want to check to see if you're registered, click here to read Vote Texas' most frequently asked questions.

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