Early voting has begun in Texas. And though there may not be any major races on the ballot for the city of Houston, others in Harris County should check to see what’s on the ballot.
Early voting started Monday morning and runs through April 27. Election Day is May 1.
Below, Houston Public Media has created a list of everything voters should know before casting their ballots.
What’s On The Ballot?
While there are no major races in the city of Houston, but elections are still happening across Harris County, including mayoral and city council races in Humble, South Houston and Pasadena.
Below is a sample ballot from Harris Votes, or find your personalized ballot here.View Fullscreenhttps://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/app/plugins/pdfjs-viewer-shortcode/pdfjs/web/viewer.php?file=https://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/19075406/SampleBallot-en.pdf&dButton=true&pButton=true&oButton=false&sButton=true#zoom=auto&pagemode=none
Check To See If You’re Registered
To be eligible to vote in the May 1 election, voters must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old or older, and have a valid photo ID.
Voters can check on this website to double check they are registered to vote.
You Need To Bring An ID
Texas requires all voters bring acceptable identification to the polls in order to vote in person. There are seven acceptable forms of ID:
- Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
- Texas 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 (book or card)
If you can not “reasonably obtain” one of those forms of ID, according to the state, you can still vote by bringing certain other forms of ID and filling out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, available at every polling location, according to the Secretary of State.
Impediments include lack of transportation, disability or illness, lack of birth certificate or other documents needed to obtain acceptable photo ID, work schedule, family responsibilities, lost or stolen ID, or acceptable form of photo ID applied for but not received.
Here are some of the supplementary documents you can provide along with the Reasonable Impediment Declaration:
- Copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter’s voter registration certificate
- Copy of or original current utility bill
- Copy of or original bank statement
- Copy of or original government check
- Copy of or original paycheck
- Copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document).
Voting By Mail
Houstonians opting to vote by mail must submit their application for a mail-in ballot no later than April 20.
To vote by mail in Houston, you must be:
- Away from the county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting period;
- Sick or disabled;
- 65 years of age or older on Election Day;
- or Confined in jail, but eligible to vote.
Ballots submitted by mail must be received by election workers by 7 p.m. on May 1, with a few exceptions.
Where Should You Vote?
Harris County registered voters can vote at any Election Day polling location. Other counties can find their early voting and election day polling sites here.
On May 1, polling sites across Houston will be open until 7 p.m. Voters who are physically unable to enter the polling location without personal assistance may ask the precinct election official to allow them to vote outside the polling location.
Voters can find their counties’ personalized voting information, such as sample ballots and election information, on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.