How to Make Sure You Can Vote in November
State officials rejected more than 2,000 people in other Texas counties after they registered to vote via vote.org stating it does not comply with state law, according to an article in the Houston Chronicle last Wednesday. The article has since been updated to reflect that the Secretary of State’s office will send the over 2,000 people a letter in the mail allowing them re-submit within 10 days, passing the voter registration deadline of Oct. 9. Still, if anyone does not see this piece of mail in enough time, they may not be registered for the November election. Today, Oct. 9, is the last day to register to vote for the Nov. 6 election, so in light of this confusion among other confusion, we have created this guide to check if you are registered, how to ensure you will be able to vote the day of, common questions and additional resources. At a time where Texas has record-breaking voter registration number, this news is disheartening. Let’s make sure we can all get to the polls!
Am I registered to vote?
Check on this website to find out: https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do
For Denton county elections specifically, go here: https://www.votedenton.com/voter-lookup/#VoterEligibilitySearch
If you are still unsure, give a call to the Denton County Elections Administration Office at 940-349-3200 to verify.
Do I need to claim a party to register to vote?
No, you are not required to claim a party to register!
If I print out the form and mail it in will it count?
Yes! You have to make sure the day it is postmarked is Oct. 9. This will make it on time and it won’t matter if it gets to the elections office after this date. TODAY IS YOUR LAST DAY - GO!
My registration says it is in “suspense,” what does that mean?
It means you have been registered but the voter registrar does not have your address. You will be removed from the suspense list once you call the elections office at 940-349-3200 and let them know your current address. This is important for their records and to make sure you are voting for the correct election for your precinct. Even when in suspense, if you moved from a different address within the same county, you will be able to vote on election day because you are in the same area. But, if you moved from a different county, state, etc., and are in “suspense”, you will need to mail (post marked) or turned in person to the elections office, an updated voter registration form with your new address by TODAY.
What do I do if I just moved since I registered to vote?
If you moved within your same county, you need to notify the voter registrar of the county. As long as you live in the same county you can do this online through Secretary of State’s Voter Registration Name/Address Change.You can also do this by mailing in a new voter registration card (make sure you check that you are changing your address at the top), or on your current VR certificate you can correct the address on the back and return it to the elections office by TODAY OCT. 9. If you moved to a different county, you will need to re-register in that new county TODAY OCT. 9. The elections office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is located at 701 Kimberly Dr. You can register right then and there or mail in the form that you print from the website as long as it is postmarked by today (again, Oct. 9) If you don’t register by Oct. 9, you may still be able to vote for the November election on a limited ballot.
What is a limited ballot?
A limited ballot is offered when you are not able to update your address to the new county you are voting in. You will only be able to vote on any candidates and measures your new county has in common with your old county, (e.g. U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, and State Governors.)
The fine print: You can only vote on the limited ballot during the early voting period.
If my state ID/Driver’s License is from another county, am I still able to register in the current county I live in? Will I be able to vote if I bring this ID on election day?
Yes and yes! There is no address matching requirement. So, no worries, college students! Sana sana, your vote will be counted.
What do I do if I changed my name?
You need to notify the voter registrar in writing as soon as possible. You can do this by writing on the back of your current VR certificate and turning it in to the elections office, fill out a new VR card and check the “change” box by TODAY, or you can do this online at Secretary of State’s Voter Registration Name/Address Change website as long as you still live in the same county.
What do I do if I changed the gender on my ID/Driver’s license?
It’s okay if your gender identity or gender presentation doesn’t match your name, photo, or gender marker because it is not required by law. But, transformthevote.org put together a “voting while trans” checklist for any discrepancies that may come up in the voting process. Because identification is needed, bring your ID or DL along with your VR certificate and a bill showing your current address. Transform the vote also has a #votingwhiletrans guide that includes a section to show to poll workers who question your identity or eligibility to vote which informs them it is not illegal. If they are still giving you problems or are preventing you from voting, look for a volunteer attorney who may be there to help people who are being denied from voting. If there isn’t anyone call the National Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683). If you are still not allowed, you may be able to request a provisional ballot. The checklist with everything stated here can be found here and the #votingwhiletrans guide to take with you can be found in English here and in Spanish here.
When is early voting?
Oct. 22 to Nov. 2 is the early voting time frame. You can vote at any of the early voting locations. You can find those locations and open times here: https://www.votedenton.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/1118_Early_Voting_Locations.pdf
When is election day?
Election day is Nov. 6! For regular voting, you have to vote at your designated location according to your precinct.
How do I figure out my polling place?
You can find your precinct here: https://www.votedenton.com/voter-lookup/#VoterEligibilitySearch
And, you can find your designated polling places for the different precincts here: https://www.votedenton.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/1118-ED-Locations-Unconsolidated.pdf
What do I need to bring on voting day?
Normally, people say to just bring your driver’s license. But if you have moved addresses or should there be any discrepancies, here is a list of possible forms of identification to keep in your car or in your bag, just to be safe. We never know who or why someone may want to turn you away.
Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID according to Vote Denton:
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 Handgun License 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 (book or card)
You can find additional forms of identification and rules here: https://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/need-id.html
Are there any shuttle services?
The Denton Vote Group offers free nonpartisan rides to the polls. More information to request a ride here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_hMQyoSMUC2d0Y4WGd4Qm14UXZZb0d1MjdvU1BEb1plaGow/view
What does the ballot that I will be voting on look like?
This is the sample ballot for the Denton County election: http://assets01.aws.connect.clarityelections.com/Assets/Connect/RootPublish/denton-tx.connect.clarityelections.com/SampleBallots/2018/1118/4045-27.pdf
Where do I find information on candidates?
The Texas Tribune is covering the election season closely and you can find the stories and other information on them here. The League of Women Voters also has a nonpartisan guide to the election which can be found here.
What is an absentee ballot?
You are eligible for an absentee ballot to mail in for your vote if you cannot physically make it the polls on election day. You are considered eligible if you are 65 years of age or older, a person with disabilities, you will be out of the county on Election Day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance, or you are confined in jail, but otherwise eligible. You must apply for the absentee ballot at least 11 days before the election and it must be postmarked by 7 p.m. on election day and be received by the elections office by 5 p.m. the day after election day. If you can turn it in person by the day after the election day, it must be there by 7 p.m. You can request an absentee ballot here: https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/
As a college student from a different area, what steps do I need to take to ensure my vote is counted?
You cannot be registered in two places at once, so you must choose where you want to be registered. If you are from out of county, city, or state, you can register where your college is located as long as you have a temporary address there (a dorm hall works.) If you choose to register at your home address, but cannot make it to vote in that area during the voting days, you can request an absentee ballot: https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/
If you do need to get registered to vote today, make a trip to the Denton County Elections Administration building on 701 Kimberly Dr and get registered then and there or reach out to the Denton Vote group or Indivisible Denton Facebook group to scout for deputy voter registrars. Or, reach out to The Dentonite on Facebook or Twitter or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we can get someone to register you.
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