Great News for Texas Voters
With the ruling by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that the Texas ID Law violates the Voting Rights Act, voters can now use any of these common photo IDs (Not expired more than four years!) Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) issued photo IDs:
- Driver license
- Personal identification card
- Concealed handgun license
- Election Identification Certificate United State's Government Issued Photo IDs
- Military identification card
- Citizenship certificate or naturalization certificate with photograph
use ANY of these other common IDs (must include voter's name and an address that doesn't have to match your voter registration):
- Valid voter registration certificate
- Certified birth certificate
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- or any other government document ( Including: student IDs from public high schools, community colleges, and public universities) (must include voter's name and address), along with...
- completed and signed form called an "Impediment Declaration" (available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese)
- Election officials can't question you about using one of the other types of ID.
- Poll watchers may never question any voter about voter ID issues! It is none of their business!
- The address on your ID does not have to match your voter registration address!
- You need to be registered to vote in the county where you live.
Texas Voter Photo ID Law
In 2011, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 14 (SB 14) creating a new requirement for voters to show photo identification when voting in person. While pending review within the judicial system, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Shelby County v. Holder, which effectively ended all pending litigation. As a result, VOTERS ARE REQUIRED to present an approved form of photo identification in order to vote in person in all Texas Elections.
The Voter ID law requires that a voter's name on a valid photo ID must EXACTLY match the name listed in the voter registration database. There are no exceptions. Dallas County voters can go to the Dallas County Votes website (link provided below) to review their voter eligibility detail which will show exactly how their name is listed. Again, the name listed on the voter eligibility detail must exactly match the name on the required photo ID that will be used at the polls. If the names DO NOT match, a new voter registration card will need to be completed and filed showing their name exactly as shown on their photo ID.
To go to the Dallas County website to check your registration, CLICK HERE.
This Requirement is Effective for ALL ELECTIONS
Texas voters must present ONE of the following seven types of identification:
- Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) issued:
- Driver's license
- Personal identification card
- Concealed handgun license
- Election identification certificate (EIC) [see additional information below]
- U.S. Government issued:
- Military identification card with photograph
- Citizenship certificate or naturalization with photograph
Only the seven photo IDs listed above can be accepted at the polls. Other photo IDs such as student IDs and employer IDs are not acceptable.
Additional Important Information
- Photo ID needs to be current or have expired no more than 60 days before voting (citizenship and naturalization certificates have no expiration date).
- The name on the ID should match the voter registration card. If names don't match, a voter may be accepted if names are "substantially similar." If it is not, you can cast a provisional vote as noted below. To check if your name matches just CLICK HERE. Addresses need not match, but if the addresses do not match, you probably need to update either your id or your registration for other purposes.
- Voters without acceptable ID can obtain an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) from Texas DPS at NO COST by providing proof of citizenship and identity and registering to vote at DPS or showing a voter registration card.
- Voters with a documented disability can apply for a voter registration certificate exempting them from the photo ID requirement.
- Voters who do not show an acceptable ID at the polls can vote a provisional ballot and have six days to show the required photo ID.
- Photo ID is not required to vote by mail. Voters may apply for a mail ballot if 65 or older, ill or disabled, or absent from their county during early voting and on Election Day.
- You can update your voter registration online at the Secretary of State site by CLICKING HERE. Note that this service requires the audit number from your most current drivers license or personal id to verify your identity. The audit number is unique to the card, so if you do not have the most current copy of your license or id with you, you will not be able to use this online feature.
To complete a mail-in application, go to the SOS website by CLICKING HERE.
Election Identification Certificate (EIC)
There is no charge for Election Identification Certificates (EIC) to qualified Texas voters who do not already have an approved form of photo ID required for voting in person. You can get an EIC at ANY driver license office during regular business hours.
In the weeks prior to an election, the following options may be made available and advertised in the media:
- the driver license offices will be opened on Saturdays to specifically issue EICs only,
- Dallas County Elections will staff EIC mobile stations that will move from area to area.
You need to take with you:
- Your Birth Certificate (For help obtaining a copy of your Birth Certificate, CLICK HERE)
- Another document verifying citizenship CLICK HERE
- Social Security card
- Voter registration card
- School records
- Medicare or Medicaid card
- ID card issued by a government agency
- Unexpired insurance policy
- Expired Texas ID
- For a complete list, CLICK HERE.
For additional information and details, go to the VOTER ID LAW website with a CLICK HERE.
Eligibility to Vote
- A United States citizen
- A resident of the Texas county in which application for registration is made
- At least 18 years old on Election Day
- Not finally convicted of a felony, or, if so convicted must have:
- (1) fully discharged the sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by any court; OR
- (2) been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disability to vote; and
- Not determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be:
- (1) totally mentally incapacitated; or
- (2) partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
When to Register
- Register NOW! Applications are accepted at any time throughout the year.
- Your registration form MUST be in the Registar's Office, or postmarked if mailed, no later than 30 days prior to the day of the election in which you wish to vote.
How to Register
- Postage paid applications are available at City Hall, City Libraries, US Post Offices, Texas Drivers License Bureau, Dallas County Elections Department (214-819-6300), or online as detailed below.
- Your spouse, parent, or child may register for you if the relative is a qualified voter.
- Students may register and vote in the county they declare as their permanent residence (i.e. parent's residence, college they are attending)
- Complete the application, being sure to sign and date at the bottom of the form. Fold, seal, and send to the Voter Registrar for the county in which you live. To find the correct city and zipcode for the elections registrar in your county, click here. Dallas County residents should mail or take to:
Dallas, TX 75207
Enter your name on the Voter Registration Form EXACTLY as shown on your Texas Drivers License! By doing so, you will immediately satisfy the Texas Voter ID Law and will not encounter a problem when you go to vote.
Maintain your voter registration by:
VOTE! Vote in all elections. This is the best and simplest way.
If you move to a new County, it is imperative that you change your Voter registration by completing a new voter registration card for you new County.
If you move within the same county, you should promptly notify the County Voter Registrar, in writing, of your new address by:
- Correcting your current voter registration certificate on the back and returning it to the County Voter Registrar;
- Filling out a new voter registration application form and checking the "change" box You will receive a new registration certificate showing your new address. You will be able to vote in your new precinct 30 days after your change of address is submitted. If you miss the deadline (30 days before an election), you may vote in your former precinct as long as you still reside in the political subdivision conducting the election.
If you move to another county, you must re-register! You need to complete a new voter registration application and either mail or take in person to the Voter Registrar of your new county. You may not register online if you move from one county to another. You will be registered 30 days after your application is submitted and will receive a new certificate in the mail.
After changing residence to another county, a person may be eligible to vote a "limited" ballot in his/her new county of residence on candidates or issues common to the old and new counties. A "limited" ballot may be voted only during early voting by personal appearance or by mail (not on Election Day) if:
- the person would have been eligible to vote in the county of former residence on Election Day if still residing in that county;
- the person is registered to vote in the county of former residence at the time the person offers to vote in the county of new residence; and
- a voter registration for the person in the county of new residence is not effective on or before Election Day.
If your name changes, you should promptly notify the County Voter Registrar, in writing, of the name change using the same steps as provided above for if you move within the same county. You should receive a new certificate 30 days after your name change notice is submitted. You may continue to vote during this period. If you do not have your certificate in hand, you may sign an affidavit at the polls and present a form of identification.
Complete registration details can be reviewed by visiting Texas Secretary of State's Texas Voting site.
Online Registration Form
To go to the Texas Secretary of State web-site where you will find directions for completing, printing, and mailing a registration form, CLICK HERE.
In person: For Federal and State elections, early voting begins on the 17th day before Election Day. For local elections, voting begins on the 12th day before Election Day. Early voting for all elections ends on the 4th day preceeding Election Day.
When you vote early, you can vote at any of the early voting sites listed below.
Early Voting Sites
The only standard early voting site for Irving is Irving City Hall - 825 West Irving Blvd, Irving, 75060
To find additional early voting sites within Irving, CLICK HERE.
Election Day Voting Site (Where do I vote?)
On election day, voters are required to vote at the voting location within their precinct. Your voter registration card has your precinct number. Once you have your precinct number, CLICK HERE to go to the Dallas County Votes website and simply follow the instructions.
- By Mail: Begins 60 days prior to election day and ends 7 days prior. (Ballot must be postmarked 7 days prior)
- Additional questions? Contact Dallas County Elections Deparment at 214-637-7937, or visit their Dallas County Elections Dept website.
Election Day Polling Locations
You must vote at the polling location assigned to your precinct number as provided on your Voter Registration Certificate.
To confirm your registration, district, and precinct: CLICK HERE.
Voter Special Services & Assistance
- If you are unfamiliar with the voting machine or ballot being used, ask the election judge for a demonstration.
- If you make a mistake while voting, stay at the voting booth and ask the election judge for assistance.
- If you are unable to mark your ballot because of blindness, physical disability, or inability to read or write, ask for assistance.
- If you are unable to communicate with election officials in English or read or write, ask for assistance.
- If you are physically unable to enter the polling place, you may send someone into the polling place to ask an election official to take a ballot to the curb, or to the entrance of the polling place, to support a voter's needs.
- Nonpartisan information may be taken into the voting booth.
To view complete details of Voters with Disabilities as provided on the VOTETEXAS.org site, CLICK HERE.
What Are Your Rights as a Voter?
If you believe that you have been denied the right to vote based on your race, color, or language minority status, OR that your voting rights under federal law have been otherwise violated, you should initially contact your County Elections Department. For the Dallas County Elections Dept.:
If, after contacting the County Elections Department, a voter is unable to obtain assistance to resolve a voting rights violation complaint, then contact the Texas Secretary of State Elections division.
Phone: 1-800-252-8683 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday)
If contacting the County and then the State as stated above did not provide a viable resolution, the voter is encouraged to contact the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.
As a registered voter in Texas, you have certain rights.
You have the right to:
- A ballot with written instructions on how to cast a ballot.
- Cast your vote in secret, free from intimidation.
- Receive up to two more ballots if a mistake is made while marking the ballot.
- Ask for instruction on how to cast the ballot, but not suggestions on how to vote.
- Bring an interpreter to assist.
- Assistance if you cannot write, see the ballot, or understand the language in which it is written.
- Bring written materials into the voting booth to assist in casting a ballot.
- Report a possible voting rights abuse to your local election official.
- Cast a provisional ballot if your name does not appear on the list of registered voters or you do not have proper identification.
- Vote once at any early voting location within the territory conducting the election.
- File an administrative complaint with the Secretary of State concerning violations of federal and state voting procedures.
Click here to find related information regarding voting rights guaranteed by our federal government.