Hidalgo County Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramón reminds voters that photo identification will now be required for voting in person, as per a Supreme Court decision which upheld the Voter ID Law requirements earlier this year. The new requirements will be in effect for the upcoming city and school district elections in September. Edcouch-Elsa ISD, Edinburg ISD, La Villa ISD, and the City of Edinburg are holding elections on September 14, 2013; early voting commenced Wednesday, August 28, 2013 and runs through Tuesday, September 10, 2013.
“In Hidalgo County, we are working to make sure our voters understand the new ID requirements and have all the information they need to cast their ballots,” said Ramón.
“We are taking the steps necessary to ensure our elections workers are trained and that our residents are informed so that they can seamlessly adapt to the new changes,” she added.
A voter will be required to show one of the following acceptable forms of photo identification at the polling location before the voter will be permitted to cast a vote:
• Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) (most common form of photo identification)
• Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
• Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
• Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
• United States military or Veteran Affairs identification card containing the person’s photograph
• United States citizenship or naturalization certificate containing the person’s photograph
• United States passport
With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the naturalization certificate and the Veteran Affairs ID, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented at the polling place. This photo ID requirement is for voters casting a ballot in person, not by mail. Voters age 65 and older may vote by mail. Detailed information about acceptable identification, including sample pictures of the documents, can be found online at www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/voterid.
If voters are unable to provide an acceptable form of photo identification, they will be allowed to vote provisionally; voters will have to present an acceptable form of photo ID and have it accepted by the Elections Administrator during the “cure period,” and no later than six calendar days after Election Day, in order for their ballot to be considered valid.
County officials are encouraging voters to update their voter registrations to reflect the names on their IDs. Voters may use IDs that do not exactly match the name on their IDs if the names are substantially similar but will have to sign an affidavit stating they are the same person. Voters may look up their registration at www.votetexas.gov and if their name is not an exact match they can update their voter registration online at the same website.“By preparing now, voters can help make sure voting goes smoothly when it comes time for the November Constitutional election,” said Ramón.
To check and update their registrations, voters can visit www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/elections or call 956-318-2570 for more information. For more information about photo ID requiremnts including exemptions, visit www.votetexas.gov. Information on how to obtain an election identification certificate if you do not have another form can be found at www.dps.texas.gov.