AUSTIN — Texas Secretary of State John Scott today is encouraging all eligible Texas voters planning to vote in the March 1st Primary Election to make sure they are registered to vote by January 31st. Additionally, Secretary Scott is providing guidance to Texas voters on how to plan to cast their ballots during the Early Voting period that begins February 14th.
“As Texans everywhere prepare to make their voices heard in the upcoming Primary Election, we want to make sure every single eligible Texas voter has the tools and resources they need to cast a ballot – whether that’s in person during the early voting period, in person on Election Day, or by mail for those who are eligible to do so.”
“Your voice counts, and your choices in the March 1st Primary Election will determine who appears on your General Election ballot in November.”
Below is an overview of information and guidance Texas voters should keep in mind regarding registering to vote, voting in person during the early voting period, and voting by mail.
Registering to Vote
To be eligible to vote in Texas, you must be:
- A United States citizen;
- A resident of the county where you submit the application;
- At least 17 years and 10 months old on the date your voter registration application is submitted, and 18 years of age on Election Day.
- Not finally convicted of a felony (you may be eligible to vote once you have completed your sentence, probation, and parole); and
- Not declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
You can check to verify your registration status ahead of the January 31st deadline by visiting the ‘Am I Registered?’ tool on the Texas Secretary of State’s My Voter Portal.
If you recently moved or changed your name, you can now update all your information on your voter registration record through our portal on Texas.gov.
Click here to update your voter registration information online.
To update your voter registration, you will need your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID) to log in to the Texas.gov portal. You can find your VUID by visiting the Texas SOS My Voter Portal, in which you can enter your Name, County, Date of Birth and ZIP code to display your voter registration information.
If you are registering to vote in Texas for the first time, you can complete a voter registration application and return it to your county voter registrar at least 30 days before the upcoming election date. To complete an application, you may:
For those not already registered to vote but who have an existing Texas Driver License or state identification card, you can register to vote online when renewing, replacing or changing your contact information for either of these cards through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Follow the steps on the DPS web portal to update your driver license information, and you will be given the option to register to vote when renewing or updating your information.
Early Voting in Person
Early Voting for the March 1 Primary Election begins on Monday, February 14th and ends on Friday, February 25th. During the Early Voting period, voters may cast a ballot at ANY early voting location in their county of residence. Early voting locations will be populated in the Texas Secretary of State’s “My Voter Portal” two days prior to the first day of early voting. Here, you can enter your Name, County, Date of Birth and ZIP code to look up your registration information and find your nearest polling location. You may want to contact the Early Voting Clerk for State and County Elections in your county for more information about early voting locations and voting hours at those locations.
Voter ID Requirements
Under Texas law, voters who possess one of the seven acceptable forms of photo ID must present that ID at the polls when voting in person. Voters who do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of the seven approved forms of photo ID may fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration (RID) at the polls and present an alternative form of ID, such as a utility bill, bank statement, government check, or a voter registration certificate.
Below is a list of the 7 acceptable forms of photo ID:
- Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate (EIC) 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.
Election Identification Certificates (EIC) are available from DPS driver license offices during regular business hours.
Here is a list of the supporting forms of ID that can be presented if the voter does not possess one of the 7 forms of acceptable photo ID 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; 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, the voter must execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.
Voting by Mail
Under Texas law, you are only eligible to vote by mail if you are:
- 65 years or older;
- Sick or disabled;
- Expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day;
- Out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance;
- Confined in jail, but otherwise eligible; or
- Civilly committed under Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety Code;
You can get a formal application for a ballot by mail (ABBM) by:
If you are voting by mail because you are disabled or are 65 years of age or older, you may use a single application to request ballots by mail for all county elections in the calendar year. To do so, simply mark “Annual Application” on your application for a ballot by mail when selecting the election for which you are applying.
If you are voting in a political party’s primary election, you MUST check which party’s primary you are voting in to receive the correct primary ballot.
To vote by mail, you must provide ONE of the following numbers on your Application for a Ballot by Mail (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
- If you have not been issued one of the numbers above, the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number
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.
Your ballot by mail application must be sent to the Early Voting Clerk in the county where you are registered to vote. Applications must be received (not postmarked) by last day of the application period.
For the March 1, 2022 Primary Election, the last day your ABBM can be received by your Early Voting Clerk is Friday, February 18, 2022.
How to Correct a Defect on your Application for Ballot by Mail
If you received a notice that your ABBM was rejected because you did not provide an identification number or the number included on your ABBM 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, available on the homepage of www.votetexas.gov. 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 Application for a Ballot by Mail 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
If you received a notice that your ABBM was rejected for another reason, you may be able to cure the defect by submitting a new ABBM to your county’s Early Voting Clerk with the corrected information.
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 voter information, call the Texas Secretary of State’s hotline at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683) and visit www.votetexas.gov.