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Tuesday, Oct. 11, is the deadline in Texas to register to vote to be able to participate in the 2022 midterm elections, where voters will cast their ballots on everything from the gubernatorial race between Gov. Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke to local races for county judge and state representative.
Texas is one of a handful of states with a voter registration deadline 30 days before the election. Here’s what you need to know about checking your status and registering to vote before the end of day Tuesday.
Voting FAQ: 2022 midterms
How do I know if I'm registered to vote?
The deadline to register to vote in the 2022 primary election was Oct. 11. Check if you’re registered to vote here.
When can I vote?
Election day is Nov. 8. Early voting ended Nov. 4.
How do I know if I qualify to vote by mail?
This option is fairly limited in Texas. You’re allowed to vote by mail only if: You will be 65 or older by Election Day, you will not be in your county for the entire span of voting, including early voting, you cite a sickness or disability that prevents you from voting in person without needing personal assistance or without the likelihood of injuring your health, you’re expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day or you are confined in jail but otherwise eligible (i.e., not convicted of a felony).
Are polling locations the same on election day as they are during early voting?
Not always. You’ll want to check for open polling locations with your local elections office before you head out to vote. Additionally, you can confirm with your county elections office whether election day voting is restricted to locations in your designated precinct or if you can cast a ballot at any polling place.
How can I find which polling places are near me?
County election offices are supposed to post on their websites information on polling locations for Election Day and during the early-voting period by Oct. 18. The secretary of state’s website will also have information on polling locations closer to the start of voting. However, polling locations may change, so be sure to check your county’s election website before going to vote.
What form of ID do I need to bring to vote?
You’ll need one of seven types of valid photo ID to vote in Texas: A state driver’s license, a Texas election identification certificate, a Texas personal identification card, a Texas license to carry a handgun, a U.S. military ID card with a personal photo, a U.S. citizenship certificate with a personal photo or a U.S. passport. Voters can still cast votes without those IDs if they sign a form swearing that they have a “reasonable impediment” from obtaining a proper photo ID or use a provisional ballot. Find more details here.
What can I do if I have trouble voting?
You can contact your county elections official or call the Texas Secretary of State's helpline at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683). A coalition of voting rights groups is also helping voters navigate election concerns through the 866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683) voter-protection helpline. The coalition also has hotlines available in other languages and for Texans with disabilities.
How do I check if I’m registered to vote?
You can check to see if you’re registered and verify your information on the Texas secretary of state’s website.
You’ll need one of the following three combinations to log in:
- Your Texas driver’s license number and date of birth.
- Your first and last names, date of birth and county you reside in.
- Your date of birth and Voter Unique Identifier number, which appears on your voter registration certificate.
Who can register to vote in Texas?
U.S. citizens in Texas can register to vote in the election if they are 18 or older or if they will be 18 by Election Day, which is Nov. 8.
Citizens in the state cannot register to vote if they have been convicted of a felony and are still serving a sentence, including parole or probation, or if they have been deemed mentally incapacitated by a court. Here are more specifics on eligibility.
What you can expect from our elections coverage
How we explain voting
We explain the voting process with election-specific voter guides to help Texans learn what is on the ballot and how to vote. We interview voters, election administrators and election law experts so that we can explain the process, barriers to participation and what happens after the vote is over and the counting begins. Read more here.
How readers inform our work
Instead of letting only politicians set the agenda, we talk to voters and scrutinize polling data to understand ordinary Texans’ top concerns. Our readers’ questions and needs help inform our priorities. We want to hear from readers: What do you better want to understand about the election process in Texas? If local, state or congressional elected officials were to successfully address one issue right now, what would you want it to be? What’s at stake for you this election cycle? If we’re missing something, this is your chance to tell us.
How we hold officials accountable
We do not merely recount what politicians say, but focus on what they do (or fail to do) for the Texans they represent. We aim to provide historical, legal and other kinds of context so readers can understand and engage with an issue. Reporting on efforts that make voting and engaging in our democracy harder is a pillar of our accountability work. Read more here.
How we choose what races to cover
We aren’t able to closely cover all 150 races in the Texas House, 31 in the Texas Senate or 38 for the Texas delegation in the next U.S. House. We need to choose what races we cover closely by using our best judgment of what’s most noteworthy. We take into account factors like power, equity, interest and competitiveness in order to determine what warrants more resources and attention. Read more here.
How we cover misinformation
In reporting on falsehoods and exaggerations, we clearly explain why it is untrue and how it may harm Texans. Sometimes, we choose to not write about misinformation because that can help amplify it. We’re more likely to debunk falsehoods when they are spread by elected officials or used as a justification for policy decisions. Read more here.
How do I register to vote?
You’ll need to fill out and submit a paper voter registration application by Oct. 11.
You can request a postage-paid application through the mail or find one at county voter registrars’ offices and some post offices, government offices or high schools. You can also print out the online application and mail it to the voter registrar in your county.
Applications must be postmarked by the Oct. 11 deadline. Download your application here.
Additionally, you can register to vote through the Texas Department of Public Safety while renewing your driver’s license, even if you’re doing so online. This is the only form of online registration in the state.
After you register to vote, you will receive a voter registration certificate within 30 days. It’ll contain your voter information, including the Voter Unique Identifier number needed to update your voter registration online. If the certificate has incorrect information, you’ll need to note corrections and send it to your local voter registrar as soon as possible.
The voter registration certificate can also be used as a secondary form of ID when you vote if you don’t have one of the seven state-approved photo IDs. More info on that here.
What if I have moved?
You must reside in a Texas county by the voter registration deadline to vote in the upcoming election unless you qualify for absentee voting. You can read more about absentee and mail-in voting here.
College students who are registered at a residence in Texas, such as a parent’s home, but are studying out of state can apply for absentee ballots. Students studying in Texas who are from other states can also choose to register to vote in the state with their dorm or Texas address.
Eligible people experiencing homelessness can vote, as long as they provide on their registration an address and description for where they are residing. If needed, their mailing address can be different, but a P.O. box address cannot be listed as a residence address.
Tuesday is also the last day to submit an address change for the midterm elections. You can report an address or name change online. You should do this if you’ve moved since the last time you voted, especially if you have moved to a different county or political subdivision or have legally taken a different name.
What do I do if I run into issues with my voter registration?
If a county suspects you have changed address but your registration has not been updated, you may be be placed on a “suspense list.” Voters placed on the suspense list can still vote if they update or confirm their address before the voter registration deadline for an election or fill out a “statement of residence” when voting, but they may have to vote at their previous polling location or vote on a limited ballot.
Limited ballots are available only during early voting at a “main early voting polling place,” which is usually the office of the elections administrator or county clerk who runs elections in your county. The main early voting polling place should be noted in a county’s list of early voting locations.
While the state conducts reviews of voter rolls to remove what officials suspect might be ineligible registrations, federal law prevents the state from removing registered voters within 90 days of a federal election unless the voter has died, been convicted of a felony or been declared mentally incapacitated.
If you have questions or concerns about your registration, you can find your county’s voter registration contact here.
Inside polling locations, there are typically “resolution desks” where poll workers can address registration issues.
You can also find more information on frequently asked questions from the secretary of state’s office at votetexas.gov.
Disclosure: The Texas secretary of state has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.