Stories

Make a Plan to Vote Early!

By SA2020 | Oct 30 2016

The November election is here! Texas early voting runs through Friday, November 4th. Voting early is a great way to cast your vote on your own schedule—often without any lines—but the whole thing can still get a little confusing. We’re breaking down all the details you need on voting in Bexar County, from what you need to bring with you (there are new rules) to what exactly you’ll be voting for (there’s more than just the big names—and some items aren’t about candidates at all).

When and Where?

Besides avoiding the Election Day lines, early voting allows you to vote at any polling location from October 24th – November 4thSo, you can swing by the location that’s closest to your home, work, or school anytime throughout those 12 days to cast your vote. Polling locations will also be open on Saturday and Sunday during early voting, and hours will be extended to 8 p.m. during the last week. So, while finding the time to get to the polls on Election Day may seem daunting, there’s practically no excuse to not participate during early voting!

early-voting-nov-updated

What to Bring

Voter ID rules are a little confusing in Texas, especially at this moment. Voters still need to bring photo ID, but if you do not have a valid ID, you can bring a supporting document and declare that you had an impediment to getting a photo ID. 

Valid photo IDs include:

  • 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 license to carry a handgun 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

If you couldn’t obtain any of the above, you can still vote! You’ll need to bring one of the following, and poll workers will help you submit a declaration explaining why you couldn’t get a photo ID.

  • 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)

What’s on the Ballot

We’re all familiar with the presidential candidates, but there’s a lot more to vote for—and it can feel a little overwhelming. But, everything on the ballot is important and deserves a few minutes of your time. You’ll be voting for a U.S. Representative, state Senators and Representatives, local judges, and more. To learn more about these positions, and what exactly the elected officials do, read our ballot blog.

SAISD residents will also vote on a bond and tax ratification election, which will have big implications for the district and its students. (Read more about the TRE and bond election at The Rivard Report.) South San Antonio ISD residents will vote on several board seats. (Read more about South San ISD candidates at the Express-News.)

You can see a sample ballot from Bexar County here. You can also visit Vote411.org, powered by the League of Women Voters,  to enter your own address, see your personalized ballot, and learn more about the candidates in every race. You can even make your selections on the website, and then print out your ballot and take it with you when you vote.

TAGS:

Latest Stories