Voting Matters by: Amanda White
Updated: Nov 2, 2022
It’s November and that means it’s election season. Do you want to vote, but find the whole process confusing and you’re not sure what to do? This article will give you all the information you need to know so that you can go vote and make your voice heard.
Registration & Voting Dates
Election Day is November 8, 2022 and most voting locations are open from 7 AM to 7 PM. Early voting runs from October 24 - November 4. The deadline to register was October 11, 2022. If you have missed this year’s registration deadline, you can still register for next year. You can register to vote online at Vote.org or register in person or by mail with the Harris County Elections Adminstrator office.
How To Find Voting Locations
If you are voting early, you can vote at any voting location in your home county. You can find information about voting locations on My Voter Portal on VoteTexas.gov. In the voting portal, you just need to provide your name, county, birthday, and zipcode. The voting portal will find your voter registration information and find the nearest polling location for you. If you live in Harris County, you can also vote at any voting location on Election Day since Harris County is in the Countywide Polling Place Program (CWPP). If you don’t live in Harris County and plan on voting on Election Day, go to VoteTexas.gov to check if your county falls under the CWPP. If your county is not in the CWPP, then you can only vote at your designated voting precinct on Election Day.
Required Documents To Bring To Polls
You must bring one form of identification with you in order to vote. There are seven types of identification that you can choose from. A Texas Driver’s Licence, Texas ID, Texas Election ID, United States Military ID with a photo, United States Citizenship Cetificate, and a United States Passport in book or card form are the seven forms of identification that you can choose from. There are exemptions allowed if you do not have or cannot obtain one of these seven types of identification. If you do not have a proper form of identification, you can bring a current utility bill, a bank statement, a government check, a paycheck, a birth certificate, or a government document. You may also claim an exemption for religious reasons of if you’re disabled. To claim an exemption for religious reasons, you must vote with a provisonal ballet within six days after election day and sign an affidavit swearing to religious objection. To claim an exemption because of a disability, you must fill out an application with the county voter registrar and bring written documentation from the U.S. Social Security Adminstation or the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
Voting By Mail
You can vote by mail if you are 65 or older or if you have a disability. To begin the process, call your county’s election office to request a vote by mail application. The application will be sent to your address and you must return a completed application to the early voting clerk at least 11 days before an election. You must also include at least one of these number on your application: your driver’s license number, your state ID number, your election identification certificate number, or tthe last four digits of your social security number if you don’t have any of the three other identification types. If you don’t have any of these identificaiton numbers or no social security number, then you must check a box on the application saying that you do not have those documents. If someone like a family member or friend helps you fill out the application, then that person must sign the application and write their name and address next to your signature on the application. You may also request an application to be sent to other types of addresses such as nusing homes, hospitals, or a relative’s house if you do not have a permanent home address.
You can request to vote from your car if you cannot physically walk into the building to vote. During curbside voting, an election officer will bring a ballot to your car for your to flll out. Once you’re done voting, the officer will put your ballot in the ballot box for you. If you plan to vote curbside, make sure to call ahead first so that someone would be able to assist your when you arrive. Curbside voting is available during early voting and on Election Day.
There are many options to choose from if you need a way to get to the polls. You can ride the bus for free or request a ride from organizations like Rideshare2vote and Freeridetovote. Metro usually provides free rides to voting locations. Earlier this year in February, Metro was offering free bus and lightrail rides to voters. Go to Metro’s website ridemetro.org or follow local news as the election approahces for more information about free rides. To get a ride through Rideshare2vote, you would need to download their app. The app works on both Android and Apple devices. Rideshare2vote offers free roundtrip rides and your driver will wait for you and take your back home. If you don’t want to download the app or don’t have a cellphone, you can also call their number 888-977-2250 to request a ride. You are asked to schedule a ride at least two hours in advance if you call in for a ride. Freeridetovote is an on demand transportation service that can take you to cast your vote at anytime that is convenient for you. The service is free, but you have an option to tip your driver if you like. To set up a ride, send an email to email@example.com or send a message to their Instagram @freeridetovote. You can also find more information at freeridetovote.org.
There you have it, everything you need to know from where to vote to what you need to bring. Hopefully you will now go vote and make your voice heard. Every vote counts.