Voter Registrations in Texas
Texas makes the right to register to vote a streamlined and simple process for its eligible residents through information and services provided by the Texas Secretary of State’s office. Voter registration in Texas is the process through which a resident formally identifies his or her county of residence, party affiliation (if applicable), voter eligibility and intentions to vote in coming elections.
This process lists voters in precinct databases organized by county and provides voters with information regarding appropriate polling places, election days and times, as well as contact information for political representatives.
Who can register to vote in Texas?
Voter registration in Texas is extended to all citizens of the state who meet the preset criteria for voter eligibility. In order to register to vote in Texas, you must be a United States citizen, an official resident of the county in which you submit your voter application and must not have been convicted of a felony offense.
Texas also requires potential voting applicants to be a minimum of seventeen and ten months of age and to have turned eighteen by the date of the next election following their registration application. Texas does not offer voting registration rights to persons who have been declared by a probate court to be fully or partially mentally incapacitated.
What are the voter registration application procedures in Texas?
Texas offers its citizens the ability to register to vote via many different types of application options and through a multitude of different helpful locations. Voter registration in Texas begins with obtaining a registration application. This application can be obtained in digital format from the website of the Texas Secretary of State, in paper format in person at your local county Voter Registrar’s office or by mail-in request to that same office.
Throughout the majority of Texas counties, the Tax Assessor/Collector also functions as the Voter Registrar. Some counties may utilize the office of the County Clerk for this job and others have official Elections Administrators that handle all aspects of voter paperwork.
Voter registration applications in Texas can also be acquired at public high schools, Department of Public Safety offices, Health and Human Services Commission offices and public libraries. Though the Texas registration application is available in an online format, it is still required that applicants print the online document once they have completely filled it in and then mail it to the appropriate Voter Registrar’s office.
All Texas voter registration application materials must be received a minimum of thirty days prior to the date of the election you wish to participate in.
Where do I find out how to register to vote via early voting in Texas?
Any eligible Texas voter can register to vote via the early voting option, also known as absentee voting, either in person during a set early-voting period or by mail in several different ways. Early voter registration for walk-in voters generally begins about seventeen days prior to the date of the actual election and ends four days prior to the date of the election.
If the seventeenth day prior is a weekend day, early voting will begin on the following Monday. All normal rules regarding eligibility, polling hours and voting procedures remain unchanged for early voters. If registering to vote early in Texas is necessary for you because of any of the following qualifying circumstances, you may vote early by mail:
- You are incarcerated but voting eligible.
- You are or will be sixty-five years of age by Election Day.
- You are scheduled to be away from your county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting walk-in period.
- You have a disability or serious illness.
Formal applications for mail-in early voter registration in Texas can be found with the Early Voting Clerk in your county, the Secretary of State’s office or are available for download from the Secretary of State’s website. If your need to register to vote early is due to an expected absence and you wish to utilize the mail-in ballot, you can apply for a ballot-by-mail in person at either of these locations before the official early voting walk-in period begins.
Disabled voters or those sixty-five years of age and older can utilize this one application to guarantee mail-in early-voting status for themselves for the entire election calendar year by ticking the box on the application that reads “Annual Application.” All early voter registration applications in Texas must include an original signature, can be submitted via standard mail, fax, email or contract carrier and must be received by the Early Voting Clerk by 7 p.m. on election day, or no later than the fifth day after election day if sent from overseas.
Am I registered to vote in Texas elections if I am active-duty military or working overseas?
“Where do I vote if I am stationed overseas?” is not a question Texas voters should worry about. Texas absentee voter registration rules and procedures apply in exactly the same way for uniformed military personnel, the family members of such personnel and other Texas residents working overseas during election time.
Overseas Texas military voters need only to fill out and submit a Federal Post Card Application, which serves as both an absentee ballot request and a temporary registration request for overseas military voters who may need it, to their local county Voter Registrar’s office before the eleventh day preceding Election Day. There is no need to change voter registration address information for Texas voters stationed in overseas employment positions. Absentee ballots for overseas or uniformed military voters must be postmarked by Election Day.
What is a Texas voter registration card?
Your Texas voter registration card is sent to you by mail upon successful completion and acceptance of a registration application by the Voter Registrar’s office of the county in which you live. When you register to vote in Texas, this card is the official proof that your voting rights are recognized by all necessary legal entities and that you can vote in any qualifying election that affects your county of residence.
You should receive your voter registration certificate no later than thirty days post the date of your registration application being received and approved by your county’s Voter Registrar. This document will display your voting precinct number and functions as a verifiable type of identification in some instances but does not have to be presented on Election Day for most voters to be able to vote.
The only voters who must have their Texas voter registration card with them in order to participate in an election are those for whom a permanent exemption from showing a photo ID due to disability status has been applied for and granted.
How do I complete a voter registration of address in Texas?
You can change voter registration information in Texas in a variety of ways. If you need to complete a Texas voter registration change of address within the same county in which you are previously registered to vote, you can utilize the “Am I Registered?” Texas Secretary of State’s digital registration portal to change basic address information.
If you are moving to a location outside of the county in which you are currently registered, attempting to use this digital service will cancel your current registration entirely and cause you to have to re-register. For completing an address change for voter registration in a new Texas county, you must go through the entire application process again with the county Voter Registrar as registrations do not transfer from county to county.
How do I replace a lost or stolen voter registration card in Texas?
In order to replace a lost or stolen voter registration card in Texas, simply write to your county Voter Registrar to specifically request a new one. Unless you have submitted a voter registration change of address in the interim, you will automatically be issued a new registration card every two years.
If you cannot locate your registration certificate or cannot remember whether you have registered at all in the past and simply wish to find out your registration status, the Texas State government offers a special “Am I Registered?” website that can be accessed and searched with just a Texas driver’s license number, Voter Unique Identifier (VUID) or a first and last name. You can confirm Texas voting registration, key election dates, early voting locations and seek out your official polling place via this service.