Texas Early Voting: Facts vs. Fiction

Early Voting: Facts vs. Fiction

Early voting began Monday in Texas and continues until Friday, November 4.

With more registered voters than ever, state officials expect record turnout between now and 7 p.m. November 8.

Smith County reported 135,185 residents are registered to vote in this election – up from 102,626 registered voters in the 2012 presidential election.

Gregg County reported 69,869 registered voters as of Monday.

CBS19 wants to make sure you are prepared when you arrive to vote, so here are some election facts vs. fiction:

Fact or fiction? You are allowed to snap a selfie in the voting booth.

That’s fiction.

In Texas, you cannot use cameras, cell phones, or any other wireless communication devices within 100 feet of polling locations.

Where can you take a selfie with your ballot? Click here to find out.

 

Fact or fiction? Not all Texans are required to have a photo ID when voting.

That’s a fact, but read closely.

If you have one of the state's acceptable forms of ID then you are required to have it with you in order to vote.

However, a federal judge ruled in August that anyone without an ID can sign a form declaring a "reasonable impediment" prevented them from getting an ID. However, they must present proof of residence using something like a paycheck or utility bill.

 

Fact or fiction? The early voting line is shorter during the work week.

That’s fiction...in Smith County, at least.

Karen Nelson, the county’s elections administrator said weekends typically have the lowest voter turnout, which typically translates to a shorter wait time.

If history holds true, Nelson said more people will visit the polls during the second week of early voting, so suggests heading out during the first week if you want to save time in line.

 

Fact or fiction? I can early vote at any early voting location in my county.

That’s a fact.

For early voting, you can go to any of your county’s polling locations.

On Election Day, rules regarding voting locations depend on where you live.

Some Texas counties, including Gregg, require all voters to visit the polling place designated for their precinct.

Others, like Smith, allow residents to vote anywhere in the county.

Make sure you know where to go!

 

Fact or fiction? The deadline has passed to request an absentee (mail-in) ballot.

That’s fiction (as of the time this article was published).

The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is Friday, October 28.

Who can use an absentee ballot?

  • Those who are disabled
  • Those who are over age 67
  • Those who will be away from their county for all of early voting and election day

If you submit a ballot by mail, it must reach your county election official by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

 

Fact or fiction? I cannot vote because I moved to an address different from my voter registration card.

It depends.

If you moved to a county other than the one you are registered in, then you’ll have to sit this election out.

However, if you moved to a different address in the same county where you are registered, don’t fear! You can change your address on the Texas Secretary of State's website, or, when you head to cast your ballot, in many cases.

 

Online resources:

 

 

(© 2016 KYTX)


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