Insider's Report Vol. 9 No. 16
After years of battling the federal government and those who desire to weaken the integrity of our electoral process, Texas is finally able to implement the Voter Identification requirement at our polls during the November election. Early voting is October 21 - November 1 and Election Day is November 5.
Each voter will be required to show one of the following forms of photo identification at the polling location before being permitted to cast a ballot:
- Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate (EIC) issued by DPS
- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
- Texas concealed 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
With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented at the polling place. For more information about photo ID requirements, including exemptions, visit www.votetexas.gov.
Election Identification Certificates (EIC) are available from DPS for eligible voters who do not have any of the other approved forms of ID. The EIC is free of charge to qualifying applicants and is valid for six years. There is no expiration date of an EIC for citizens 70 years of age or older. The EIC can only be used for the purpose of voting in an election and may not be used as personal identification. For more information on obtaining an EIC, you can visit http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/electionID.htm.
Residents with a documented disability may apply at their county voter registrar for a permanent exemption from the photo ID requirement. If approved, they will not need a photo ID to vote. Also, if individuals are voting by mail, they do not have to submit a photo ID.
This is a great time to update your voter registration if you have recently changed your name so that it reflects the name on your ID. You can view and make any necessary updates to your voter registration online through www.votetexas.gov or call 1-(800)-252-VOTE for more information. If you do use an ID that does not exactly match your voter registration, you will have to sign an affidavit stating that you are the same person.
In 2011, as Chair of the Select Committee on Voter Identification and Voter Fraud, I was a leader in the effort to pass the Voter ID Act in the Texas Legislature. This legislation (SB 14), which I co-sponsored, restores the basic concept of "one person, one vote" within our electoral system by requiring a photo ID to cast a ballot. This upcoming election marks the true beginning of bringing fairness back to our election process and I am proud to be a part of this historic act.