Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Texas' Voter ID Law

More later about what I think about Texas' Voter ID law (as well as what is happening with it now). But I think it's important to see what the law actually says.

So here it is  (you can find it in Spanish here)...

Prescribed by Secretary of State
Section 63.0012, Texas Election Code

Notice of Required Identification for Future Elections

New Forms of Identification:

Upon U.S. Justice Department approval of a photo identification law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011, effective 2012, a voter will be required to show one of the following forms of photo identification at the polling location before the voter will be permitted to cast a vote.

  • Texas Driver’s License issued by the Department of Public Safety (“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 Identification Card containing the person’s photograph;
  • United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph; or
  • United States Passport.

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.*

*If you do not have a valid form of photo identification, you may apply for a free election identification card at your local Texas Department of Public Safety office.

Exemption: Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption. The application must contain written documentation from either the U.S. Social Security Administration evidencing the applicant’s disability, or from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs evidencing a disability rating of at least 50 percent. In addition, the applicant must state that he or she has no valid form of photo identification. Those who obtain a disability exemption will be allowed to vote by presenting a voter registration certificate reflecting the exemption.

Provisional Voting: If voters do not present one of the forms of photo identification listed above and do not have a permanent disability exemption indicated on their voter registration certificates, voters may cast a provisional ballot at the polls and will have six (6) calendar days after election day to present a valid form of photo identification in the presence of the county voter registrar. Voters who have a consistent religious objection to being photographed and voters who do not have any photo identification as a result of certain natural disasters as declared by the President of the United States or the Texas Governor, may vote a provisional ballot, and if they appear at the voter registrar’s office within six (6) calendar days after election day and sign an affidavit swearing to the religious objection or natural disaster, then their ballot will be counted.

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