When people are in the middle of a move or just moved, registering to vote sometimes gets overlooked. The deadline to vote in this year’s General Election is October 9, 2018.
Moving Within The Same County
If you move within the same Texas county, all you have to do is go to the Secretary of State’s website and change your address. Alternately, you can contact the County Voter Registrar, in writing, of your new address. To do that, correct the back of your current registration certificate and return it to the County Voter Registrar. Alternately, you can fill out a new voter registration application and check the “change” box. Lastly, you could make the change at the same time you change your driver’s license.
Then, you’ll get a new voter registration certificate in the mail featuring your new address. Remember, make sure to make any changes at least 30 days ahead of the election. Otherwise, you’ll have to vote in your former precinct.
Moving To A Whole New County?
If you move to a different county, you have to completely re-register. You must get a new application and mail it to the Voter Registrar in the new county. Some people prefer to hand deliver their application. Here’s the thing: You can get an application online, but that’s only for filling out. You can’t submit it online. You must print out the application and get it to the Voter Registrar in the new county. You have to do this at least 30 days before the election.
What If You Move In October or November?
If you move to a new county after the deadline, but before the election, you can still vote. Yet, that only counts if you are already registered to vote in your former county of residence. So, if your new voter registration won’t be effective on or before election day, because of the 30 day processing time, you can ask for a limited ballot.
A limited ballot must be taken care of in advance. You can go in person and ask for a limited ballot for early voting or you can vote by mail via a limited ballot through your new county. Remember though, this only works if you would have been eligible and registered to vote in your former county if you were still living there.
Registering To Vote In Texas
To vote in Texas, you have to register. Texas doesn’t currently have online registration, but you can get an application online if it’s easier. You must mail the application at least 30 days before the election! To print out an application, head to the Secretary of State’s website. See, it’s uploaded there. Remember, you must print the application and get it to your County Voter Registrar. Or, you can go to the office and fill it out there. In Texas, you can also often pick up voter registration applications at your local DPS offices, post offices, and libraries.
Check Your Voter Registration Status Online
You might not be able to register to vote online, but you can check your registration status online. It’s suggested that all voters check their status a couple months before election day just to avoid any issues. Just double check online to make sure your registration went through or wasn’t accidentally deleted. This is obviously very rare, but it’s easy to check your status and worth the minimal effort.
See, you can search the online database using one of three data points:
- If you provided your driver’s license number when you applied for registration, you can use your Texas driver’s license number to look up your status.
- You can look up your status using your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID). Find this on your voter registration certificate.
- Your first and last name.
30 Day Processing Requirement
Remember, it takes 30 days to process your application. Interestingly, the state counts 30 days as starting on the date that your application was postmarked or the date you deliver it to your County Voter Registrar.
Where To Find Your County Voter Registrar’s Office
If you fill out the application that the state has uploaded online, the County Voter Registrar’s address is supposed to appear at the top of the online outputted voter registration application after you have submitted your data from the input screen. (Keep in mind, it might appear like you submit the application. But you aren’t! See, you’re just submitting data into the data fields.) So, the application absolutely must be printed and delivered in person or by mail to your County Voter Registrar’s Office. To save you time, here’s a list of the locations.
Who Is Eligible For Registering To Vote In Texas?
In order to be allowed to register to vote in Texas, all of the following conditions must be true:
- You are a citizen of the United States.
- You are a resident of the county in which you submit the application.
- You will be at least 18 years of age on election day.
- You are at least 17 years and 10 months old.
- You are not a convicted felon.*
- You haven’t been declared mentally incompetent in a court of law.
*If you are a convicted felon you might still be able to register to vote if you have fulfilled your sentence, parole, probation, etc. provided that you haven’t been declared to be either totally or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
When registering to vote in Texas, you must provide a Texas driver’s license number, a personal identification number issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety or the last four digits of your social security number. If you have none of these numbers, because you were never issued them, then you have to check the designated box claiming you have none of those numbers.
Voting On Election Day
Seven acceptable forms of identification exist to prove you are who you say you are:
- Texas driver license issued by the DPS
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
- Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
- United States military photo identification card
- United States citizenship certificate with a photo
- United States passport
- Voter registration certificate
We understand that moving can be a lot of work and people often forget to re-register to vote when they move. So, we hope this helps make the process a little easier!
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