What ID will you need to vote Tuesday?


Election Day is Tuesday, and although the Texas voter ID law is still in legal limbo, here’s what you need to know about how to vote in person:

What ID is needed to vote?

Texas still requires registered voters to show one of seven forms of photo ID — if they have one. Acceptable forms of ID are a Texas driver’s license or handgun license, a U.S. passport, U.S. military ID card, U.S. citizenship certificate or a Texas Department of Public Safety-issued personal ID card or election identification certificate.

Documents that have been expired more than four years will not be accepted, the Texas secretary of state’s office says.

And if voters lack a photo ID?

Voters without one of the seven accepted photo IDs can still show a voter registration certificate, certified birth certificate, a current utility bill, a bank statement, a paycheck or government check, or a government document (including an out-of-state driver’s license, a Native American tribal ID or a DPS receipt) that includes a name and address. The address does not need to match the address listed on voter rolls.

These voters also will have to fill out and sign a “reasonable impediment declaration” stating that they could not obtain a photo ID because of a lack of transportation, disability, illness, work schedule, family responsibilities, lost or stolen ID or other reasons.

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If I have a photo ID but forget to bring it?

Two options: Get the ID and return before the polls close at 7 p.m., or cast a provisional ballot and bring an acceptable ID to county election officials within six days to have the ballot count, the secretary of state’s office says.

Where does the legal fight over voter ID stand?

A federal judge in Corpus Christi ruled earlier this year that the 2011 Texas voter ID law was passed by Republicans in the Legislature to discriminate against minorities, who tend to favor Democrats but are less likely to have acceptable identification. The judge also threw out a 2017 law that updated the statute with looser ID requirements, saying there was no way to fix a law that was drafted to intentionally discriminate.

State officials appealed, and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Texas to use the rules described above — which were unchanged from the voter ID rules used in the 2016 general election — while the appeal goes forward.

The appeals court will hear oral arguments Dec. 5 in New Orleans. A ruling is expected some time next year.



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