Voter ID options added at the polls

SMITH COUNTY - Smith County voters who cannot obtain one of the seven approved forms of photo identification now have additional options at the polls, Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson announced.

“My office is working to make sure all the voters in Smith County are ready to cast a ballot,” Nelson said. “These new options for voters who cannot obtain photo ID are currently in place and will be used in the November Election.”

As provided by a court order, if a voter has a reasonable impediment to obtaining one of the seven forms of approved photo ID, the voter may vote by:

 Signing a declaration at the polls explaining why the voter is unable to obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID and providing one of various forms of supporting documentation.

Supporting documentation can be an original, certified birth certificate, a valid voter registration certificate, a copy or original of one of the following: current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck, or other government document that shows the voter’s name and an address.

Government documents which include a photo must be original and cannot be copies. If a voter meets these requirements and is otherwise eligible to vote, the voter will be able to cast a regular ballot in the election.

The seven forms of approved photo ID are:

  • 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 license to carry a handgun 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 approved photo ID must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.

Voters with a disability may continue to apply with the county registrar for a permanent exemption to showing approved photo ID (which now may be expired no more than four years) at the polls. Also, voters who (1) have a consistent religious objections to being photographed or (2) do not present one of the seven forms of approved photo ID because of certain natural disasters as declared by the President of the United States or the Texas Governor, may continue apply for a temporary exemption to showing approved photo ID at the polls. 

Voters can learn more by clicking here or calling 1-800-252-VOTE.

Early voting for the November 8 Election begins October 24 and ends November 4.

(© 2016 KYTX)


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