AUSTIN – On National Voter Registration Day, Texas Secretary of State John Scott held a press conference at the Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center in East Austin to highlight the office’s “VoteReady” voter education campaign.
“VoteReady” is a statewide campaign to educate Texans about ID requirements for voting in Texas, as well as ID requirements for those who are eligible to vote by mail.
Components of the “VoteReady” campaign include: a grassroots outreach tour, paid TV, radio, out-of-home and digital advertisements, as well as social media content and community partnerships to help spread the campaign’s educational materials in both English and Spanish.
“I want to ensure that all Texans are informed, prepared and ready to make their voices heard,” said Secretary Scott.
“Regardless of how you vote – whether it’s in person or by mail – you have to identify yourself when you vote in Texas. Today, we are working to make sure that all eligible Texas voters understand the ID requirements so they can vote successfully and easily in the upcoming November General Election.”
For more information on voter registration in Texas, watch Secretary Scott’s SOS 101 educational video on voter registration, or visit www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote
2022 ‘VoteReady’ Grassroots Tour
The ‘VoteReady’ grassroots tour began visiting Texas cities in late August 2022. It will remain on the road through the November 2022 election, making appearances and stops at community events including senior expos, county fairs, sporting events, and music and arts festivals.
The tour utilizes a mobile digital truck which shares messaging on the campaign as it rolls from city to city. The tour can be followed along on social media for a look at what part of the state it is at any given week.
While at events, the tour’s brand ambassadors interact with the public with an interactive game and informational materials designed to educate voters about the ID requirements for voting in person and by mail in Texas.
Voter ID Requirements
Under Texas law, you can present one of the seven acceptable forms of photo ID at the polls when voting in person. If you do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of the seven approved forms of photo ID, you may fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration (RID) (PDF) at the polls and present an alternative form of ID, such as a utility bill, bank statement, government check, or your voter registration certificate that you receive in the mail.
The seven forms of approved photo ID are:
- 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 up to four years.
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.
You can present one of supporting forms of ID if you do not not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of the seven acceptable forms of photo ID, including:
- 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; or
- 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).
After presenting one of the forms of supporting ID listed above, you must execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration (RID) (PDF), which is made available at each polling place.
ID Requirements for Voting by Mail in Texas
To vote by mail in Texas, you must be:
- 65 years of age or older on Election Day;
- Sick or disabled;
- Expecting to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day;
- Absent from the county of registration during the Early Voting period and on Election Day;
- Civilly committed under Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety Code; OR
- Confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.
You can get a formal application for a ballot by mail (ABBM) by:
- Downloading an application for a ballot by mail (PDF);
- Requesting an application from the Texas Secretary of State’s office; or
- Requesting an application from your county’s Early Voting Clerk
To vote by mail, you must provide ONE of the following numbers on your ABBM:
- Texas Driver’s License, Texas Personal Identification Number or Election Identification Certificate Number issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (NOT your voter registration VUID number); OR
- The last 4 digits of your Social Security Number
If you have both numbers, you are welcome to provide both in the ID section on your ABBM.
If you have not been issued a Texas Driver’s License, Texas Personal Identification Number or Texas Election Identification Certificate Number or a Social Security Number, you must indicate so by checking the appropriate box on the ABBM.
For the November 8, 2022 General Election, your ABBM must be received by your county’s Early Voting Clerk by Friday, October 28, 2022.
Once you receive your mail-in ballot, carefully review each choice in each race or proposition to be voted on, and mark your choices in accordance with the instructions on the ballot envelope.
After your mark your ballot, place your voted ballot in the envelope marked “BALLOT ENVELOPE” and seal the ballot envelope.
Next, place the ballot envelope in the carrier envelope (PDF). BEFORE SEALING THE CARRIER ENVELOPE, YOU MUST INCLUDE IN THE SPACE PROVIDED:
- The number of your Driver License, Personal ID Card or Election Identification Certificate issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS); OR
- The last four digits of your Social Security Number;
If you have not been issued any of those numbers, you must check the box indicating so.
Carrier Envelope ID Field
Next, seal the carrier envelope, sign the carrier envelope, and return your carrier envelope to the Early Voting Clerk either by mail, by common or contract carrier, or in person on Election Day at your county’s early voting clerk’s office.
The Early Voting Clerk must receive your marked ballot by 7 p.m. on Election Day, OR by 5:00 p.m. the first business day after Election Day if postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day; OR if the postmarked ballot was mailed within the United States from non-military voters and from any military voters who submitted an ABBM, or by the 5th day after Election Day if your ballot is submitted from outside the United States.
Tracking Your Ballot by Mail
Once you’ve sent your ballot by mail to your county’s Early Voting Clerk, you can check the status of your mail-in ballot through the Ballot by Mail Tracker, available on the Texas Secretary of State’s ‘My Voter Portal.’
To track your mail-in ballot, you must enter the following information:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Date of Birth
- The last 4 digits of your Social Security Number
- Your Driver’s License or Department of Public Safety Personal ID number
- Your residential address (must appear exactly as listed on your voter registration record. To look up the address listed on your voter registration record, use the ‘Am I Registered?’ tool)
- ZIP code
How to Correct a Defect on Your ABBM or Carrier Envelope
If you received a notice that your ABBM (PDF) or Carrier Envelope (PDF) was rejected because you did not provide an identification number you provided did not match one of the numbers associated with your voter registration record, you may correct the defect online through the Texas Secretary of State’s Ballot by Mail Tracker.
When you log in to the Ballot by Mail Tracker, you will be prompted to enter your personal identification number(s). Once your personal identification number is validated by the Mail Ballot Tracker, the ABBM or Carrier Envelope you previously submitted will be processed.
To utilize the Ballot by Mail Tracker, you must enter:
- Your Texas Driver’s License Number or Texas Personal Identification Number, AND
- The last four digits of your social security number; AND
- Your residence address as listed in your voter registration record
To confirm your information as listed on your voter registration record be sure to visit the ‘Am I Registered?’ tool on the Texas Secretary of State’s My Voter Portal.
If you have specific questions about your registration or the status of your Application for Ballot by Mail, you should contact your county elections office.
For more information, visit www.votetexas.gov/voting-by-mail.