The Latest on Texas’ Voter ID Law

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A recent court order expanded voting opportunities for voters who don’t have photo ID. Here’s what you need to know.

What kind of ID do I need?

  • a Texas driver’s license
  • an election identification certificate (a photo ID for voting)
  • a personal identification card from the Texas Department of Public Safety
  • a U.S. military ID card with your photo
  • a U.S. citizenship certificate with your photo
  • a U.S. passport
  • a license to carry a concealed handgun from the Texas Department of Public Safety

To avoid problems or delays, try to make sure the name on your ID is the same as the name on your voter registration.

Can I use an expired ID?

Yes, but only if it expired no more than four years from the day you vote.

What if I don’t have the right kind of ID?

You can still vote!

NEED HELP OR MORE INFORMATION?

If you have questions about the rules for voting, contact the Elections Division of the Texas Secretary of State at 1-800-252-VOTE or go to www.votetexas.gov.

From 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Oct. 24 – Nov. 3 and Nov. 8, you can also call the ACLU of Texas Election Protection hotline at 1-888-507-2970.

And if you feel your right to vote has been denied, contact the ACLU at the hotline number above during designated times, or send an email to letmevote@aclutx.org.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT KIND OF ID?

You can still vote! Here’s how:

1. Tell the poll worker you want to complete a “reasonable impediment declaration.” This simple document lets you explain the difficulty that prevented you from getting a photo ID. Reasonable impediments to getting a photo ID include work schedule, lack of transportation, disability, and family responsibilities.

2. Fill out the form and present it to the poll worker. Poll workers can’t question or challenge you about not having a photo ID, or the reason you give on your “reasonable impediments declaration.”

3. Show one of the following documents:

  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • Voter registration certificate
  • Certified birth certificate
  • Government check
  • Any other government document with your name and address

TOP: “We’ve always known that Texas’ stringent ID law was discriminatory. It was written with that intent.”

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The following is a statement by Crystal Zermeno, director of electoral strategy for the Texas Organizing Project, in reaction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision to strike down the Texas voting ID law:

“We’ve always known that Texas’ stringent ID law was discriminatory. It was written with that intent. In a state that regularly has the lowest voter turnout in the nation, there was no other motive for this law than to discourage even more people of color from voting. Widespread in-person voter fraud is a figment of the imagination concocted in right-wing politicians’ minds.

“It is frustrating that the courts took this long to make this decision, and even now are asking the same people who crafted this discriminatory law to find a remedy for it.

“The only solution for this made up problem is to scrap the law and focus on bringing more people to the polls.  Our remedy for Texas’ real voting problem, paltry participation, would include online and automatic voter registration, extended early voting and universal voting by mail.

“Moving people to the polls is the first step in creating a representative, responsive government that cares about growing inequality. Until then, we will continue to have a government elected by a few that serves only those few.”