AUSTIN, Texas - Texans will soon be heading to the polls to vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. It's an important day that could change the course of the country in many ways. In Texas, besides electing the next president of the United States, we will be voting for a U.S. Senator, the 36 representatives who will serve in the U.S. House, as well as several other state and local races.
But voters need to be prepared before casting their ballots.
We have put together a guide with everything you need to know to be able to vote in Texas for the 2020 Election, including important dates, voter registration information, and early voting locations. Below we answer the frequently asked questions and more regarding voting.
How do I register to vote or check my voter registration?
In Texas, you can register to vote by mail or in person. Texas does not offer online voter registration.
To register to vote in person, contact your local election office for information on when and where to register to vote.
The deadline to register is Monday, October 5, 2020.
*If you've moved out of the county in which you were registered to vote, you will need to re-register.
How do I find my polling location?
Your assigned polling place is based on where you live. Visit your county's election page for the polling locations and sample ballots.
You will also be able to find election day voting locations by visiting the state's webpage, which will be populated with voting sites a few days before election day. Or, you may want to contact the Election Official for State and County Elections in your county.
When and where can I vote during the early voting period in Texas?
Any registered voter may vote early in person. Early voting for the November 3, 2020 Election begins on October 13, 2020 and ends on October 30, 2020. You may vote at any early voting location in your county of registration.
You will be able to find those early voting locations on your county's election page, or by visiting the state's webpage, which will be populated with voting sites a few days before early voting begins. Or, you may want to contact the Early Voting Clerk for State and County Elections in your county.
When are polls open on Election Day?
The polls in Texas are open from 7 a.m. on the date of the election until 7 p.m. Anyone in line at the time the polls close will be allowed to cast their ballot.
What photo ID do I need to vote?
In order to vote in person during early voting or on election day, Texas voters will be asked to present an acceptable form of photo ID. Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID:
- Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- 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)
With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, for voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.
Here is a list of the supporting forms of ID that can be presented if the voter does not possess an acceptable form of photo identification, and cannot reasonably obtain one:
- 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)
Can I vote early by mail (also known as “absentee voting”)?
Only specific reasons entitle a registered voter to vote early by mail (no longer called absentee voting). You may request a ballot by mail if you are one of the following:
- Will be away from your county on Election Day and during the hours that early voting is conducted
- Are sick or disabled
- Are 65 years of age or older on Election Day
- Are confined in jail
Will I be able to vote straight-party?
No. House Bill 25 passed during the 85th Legislative Session, eliminating straight-party voting effective September 1, 2020. If you wish to vote for all of the candidates affiliated with one party, you should select each candidate one at a time on your ballot.
The items on your ballot may vary depending on where you live in the county. Texan voters are allowed to bring printed materials into the voting booth, including a sample ballot or a voters guide. But we cannot bring a cell phone or camera.
Military and overseas voters
Military and overseas voters have special rules and additional options for voting. You can see those by clicking here. Military and overseas voters are welcome to use the regular registration and early voting by mail process available to all voters away from their home county on Election Day.
Please note that registering with a federal postcard application (typically used by the military and overseas voters) is now treated as a request for permanent registration.
Texas evacuees due to natural disasters
Voters with special needs
In Texas, a convicted felon regains the right to vote after completing his or her sentence. Therefore, once you have completed the punishment phase (including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by the court), you would be eligible to register and vote in the state of Texas.
Important 2020 Election dates
Monday, Oct. 5
The deadline to register to vote in Texas for the 2020 General Election
Tuesday, Oct. 13
Early voting begins for the 2020 General Election
Friday, Oct. 30
Early voting ends for the 2020 General Election
Tuesday, Nov. 3
2020 General Election Day
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021
2021 United States presidential inauguration