Who can register to vote in Texas?
US citizens in Texas can register to vote in the election if they are 18 years of age or older or will turn 18 on Election Day.
Citizens of the state cannot register to vote if they have been convicted of a felony and are still serving a sentence, including probation or parole, or have been found mentally incompetent in court. Here are more details about eligibility.
How do I register to vote?
You will need to complete and submit a paper voter registration application by October 11.
You can request a postage-paid application by mail or find one at county voter registration offices and some post offices, government offices, or high schools. You can also print the online application and mail it to your county voter registrar.
Applications must be postmarked by the October 11 deadline. Download your app here.
Additionally, you can register to vote through the Texas Department of Public Safety while renewing your driver’s license, even if you do so online. This is the only form of online registration in the state.
After you register to vote, you will receive a voter registration certificate within 30 days. It will contain your voter information, including the unique voter identification number needed to update your voter registration online. If the certificate has incorrect information, you will need to note the corrections and submit it to your local voter registrar as soon as possible.
The voter registration certificate can also be used as a secondary form of identification when you vote if you do not have one of the seven state-approved photo IDs. More info on that here.
Do you have to re-register to vote?
Once you register to vote, you generally stay registered, but there are a number of reasons you may want to check your registration status. For example, you must update your record after a name or address change. You can do those updates online here.
If a county receives an undeliverable notice after mailing a voter registration certificate or suspects an address change, the voter is placed on a “hold list” and asked to confirm their address. Voters on the hold list can still vote if they update or confirm their address before the voter registration deadline for an election or complete a “declaration of residence” when voting, but they may have to vote instead. early ballot or vote on a limited ballot. If a suspended voter takes no action, they are removed from the voter rolls after about four years, said Sam Taylor, a spokesman for the Texas secretary of state’s office.
The state also conducts voter roll reviews to remove what officials suspect may be ineligible registrations, which have incorrectly flagged naturalized citizens in the past. Federal law prevents the state from removing registered voters within 90 days of a federal election unless the voter is dead, convicted of a felony, or declared mentally incompetent. That means naturalized citizens should not be removed from voting rolls because of citizenship inquiries after August 10.
If you are concerned about your voter registration, you can check it online here.
“We urge people to do that, you know, well in advance of the Oct. 11 deadline, so they have plenty of time to fix any issues,” Taylor said.
But if a voter is marked incorrectly, Taylor said they can still vote if they present proof of citizenship, such as a naturalization certificate or US passport, at the polls.
What if I move after the voter registration deadline?
You must reside in a Texas county before the voter registration deadline to vote in the upcoming election, unless you qualify to vote absentee. You can read more about absentee and mail-in voting here.
If you moved within the same county or political subdivision, you can vote at your old polling place. Or you can vote at your new polling place on a ballot limited to elections in which you would qualify to vote at both polling places, such as state contests. But limited ballots are available only during early voting at a “primary early voting polling place,” which is usually the election administrator’s office or county clerk who conducts elections in your county. The primary early voting location must be noted on a county’s list of early voting locations.
Eligible homeless people can vote, Taylor said, as long as they provide an address and a description of where they reside on their registration. If necessary, your mailing address can be different, she said, but a P.O. Box address cannot be included as a residence address.
What do I do if I have problems with my voter registration?
If you have questions or concerns about your registration, you can find your county voter registration contact here.
Inside polling places, there are typically “resolution tables” where poll workers can address registration issues.
You can also find more information about frequently asked questions from the secretary of state’s office at votetexas.gov.