A Babe's Guide to Voting

Leslie voting guide

It is very likely that you have already driven to your nearest polling station, rotated that plastic dial, performed your civic duty, and taken a selfie with your “I Voted” sticker, as is your American right.

Travis County has already broken records with the number of voters who turned out at the polls Monday for the start of early voting. That’s in addition to the record-breaking number of Texas voters registered this year and the whopping 90% of eligible, registered Travis County voters.

But if you haven’t made your way to the ballot box yet, may this guide be the final push you need to go vote already.

A Primer

Early voting runs from now until November 4 Monday through Friday, anywhere you see a “Vote Here/Aqui” sign. You can find your nearest polling location here, as well as check that location’s hours.

You can also, of course, vote on election day, November 8 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Just make sure to get there before November 8.

What To Bring

An I.D., if you have one.

You may have heard about the federal appeals court ruling that stated that Texas’ former voter I.D. law discriminated against minority voters.

Under that law, the following forms of identification were accepted:

  • State drivers 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 license to carry a handgun (issued by DPS)

  • U.S. military ID card that includes a personal photo

  • U.S. citizenship certificate that includes a personal photo

  • U.S. passport

Under the new court order, if you don’t have one of those forms of I.D., you may still vote by:

  • Signing a form that declares your “reasonable impediment to obtaining such identification, and

  • Providing one of the following as supporting documentation:

    • Valid voter registration certificate.

    • Certified birth certificate (must be an original).

    • 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 government document with your name and an address  (original required if it contains a photograph)

If you’re missing supporting documentation, you can still vote using a provisional ballot, but you must provide the necessary identification within 6 days of November 8 at the Voter Registrar’s office.

What You Can’t Bring

  • Any campaign paraphernalia, including shirts, buttons, hats, et. al.

  • Your cellphone

  • Guns

Who To Vote For

That’s up to you, obviously. But the Internet abounds with voter guides, like this one by the League of Women Voters of Texas and the League of Women Voters of the Austin Area. Make sure to do the research ahead of time — know what they stand for and vote accordingly.

Also remember that Austin’s Transportation Bond (Prop 1) is on the ballot. You can study up here.

Some Tips

  • Check wait times before heading out. Visit ivoteearly.com to view a map.

  • Catch a ride. Cap Metro is offering free bus rides for both early voting and Election Day to help get people to the polls. Learn more and plan your route here.

  • Don’t forget your sticker.
Jane Claire HerveyComment