Senator Glenn Hegar Reminds Voters of Upcoming Deadlines and Requirement that all Voters Present Photo ID at Polls
In preparation for Texas' upcoming elections, Senator Hegar wants to be sure voters are aware of important deadlines and changes to Texas election law. Most importantly, Texans must remember that valid photo identification will now be required to cast their vote. Please read on for reminders of upcoming deadlines and how to obtain identification at no cost.
All voters must have a valid voter registration card. To apply, pick up an application at local libraries, any government office, or download one at votetexas.gov. All applications must be completed by October 7 in order to participate in early voting beginning October 21 or on the uniform election date, November 5. Voters must also show one of the following forms of photo ID:
- Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate 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
Any of the above forms of identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days prior to presentation at the voting place.
If you do not have one of the approved forms of photo identification, you are eligible to receive an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) free of charge. To obtain an EIC, applicants must meet legal voting requirements and complete and submit an application to DPS. To help ensure all interested Texans obtain the required photo ID, DPS is set to deploy mobile EIC application stations throughout the state. From a DPS bulletin:
EIC mobile stations will be deployed beginning Oct. 1 to various locations across the state as determined by the Secretary of State's Office. To view the current schedule of EIC mobile station locations and for updates to the schedule, visit www.VoteTexas.gov.
Texans can now obtain an EIC at:
Most Texans already have an acceptable form of photo identification needed for voting and will not need or qualify for an EIC. If an applicant already has any of the following documents, they are not eligible to receive an EIC:
- Texas driver license - unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
- Texas personal identification card - unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
- Texas concealed handgun license - unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
- U.S. passport book or card - unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
- U.S. Military identification with photo - unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
- U.S. Citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization with photo
To apply for an EIC, applicants must visit a driver license office or EIC mobile station, and complete an Application for Texas Election Certificate (DL-14C).
- To qualify for an EIC, an applicant must:
- Bring documentation to verify U.S. citizenship
- Bring documentation to verify Identity
- Be eligible to vote in Texas (Bring a valid voter registration card or submit a voter registration application through DPS)
- Be a Texas resident
- Be 17 years and 10 months or older
To avoid delays or complications, DPS urges potential applicants to make sure they have the necessary documentation before arriving at the office or mobile station.
The EIC receipt an individual receives will include their photo and can be used for voting until the permanent card is delivered by mail. The EIC is free of charge to qualifying applicants and is valid for six years. There is no expiration date for 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.
Texans 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.
For more information on the requirements, exemptions and process for obtaining an EIC, please visit: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/electionID.htm.
For more information on voting in Texas, visit the Secretary of State's website: votetexas.gov.
Senator Hegar served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and now represents Senate District 18 in the Texas Senate. Senate District 18 contains all or part of twenty-one Counties and over one-third of the Texas coastline. He is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming on land that has been in his family since the mid-1800s. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.