Houstonians will head to the polls starting Tuesday, October 13 for early voting. With that in mind, here is an overview of what you need to know about casting a ballot in this year's election. Early voting runs from October 13-30 and Election Day is Tuesday, November 3.
This is the full schedule:
- October 13-17: 7 am to 7 pm
- Sunday, October 18: 12 pm to 7 pm
- October 19-24: 7 am to 7 pm
- Sunday, October 25: 12 pm to 7 pm
- October 26: 7 am to 7 pm
- October 27-29: 7 am to 10 pm
- October 29: 24-hour polling at seven locations starting at 7 am
- October 30: 7 am to 7 pm
Harris County had only one in-person drop-off location for mail-in ballots on Monday, October 12, which was at NRG Arena. The clerk's office told CultureMap new partner, ABC13 Eyewitness News they will maintain this site as the only site until they receive further orders from the court.
Before you head to the polls, you can also check out a Sample Ballot from harrisvotes.com. The last day to apply for a mail-in-ballot is October 23. The deadline for mail-in ballots to be returned to the county is November 3.
When to drop off or mail an application
Applications can be dropped off in person at your county elections office before the start of early voting. Mailed applications must be received by the early voting clerk in your county by October 23.
When to mail ballots
The deadline for mail-in ballots to be returned to the county is Election Day, which is November 3. If they're postmarked by 7 pm that day, they'll be counted if they're received by the county on November 4 by 5 pm.
The U.S. Postal Service recommends that Texans ask for mail-in ballots no later than 15 days ahead of that due date and that they drop completed ballots in the mail a week before the deadline.
For this election, absentee ballots can also be delivered to the county clerk's office in person with a valid form of ID as soon as they're completed and before the close of voting on Election Day. You should reach out to your county to find out when and where your county is allowing ballot drop-offs.
Completed ballots from military or overseas voters are accepted if they're received by November 9. (Those voters go through a different ballot request and return process.)
Where to vote early
Voters can cast ballots at any polling location in the county where they are registered to vote. Early voting locations can be found on the Texas secretary of state's website two days before early voting begins.
View the full list of locations on the Harris Votes website and also check wait times.
Who is eligible to vote early
Anyone who is registered to vote may vote early, but it must be done in person unless you qualify to vote by mail.
How to find which polling locations
The secretary of state's website has information on polling locations for Election Day and during the early voting period. However, polling locations may change, so be sure to check your county's election website before going to vote.
What form of ID to bring
You'll need one of seven types of valid photo ID to vote in Texas:
- A driver's license that has your name and photo on it
- A Texas election identification certificate (issued by DPS)
- A Texas personal identification card (issued by DPS)
- A Texas license to carry a handgun (issued by DPS)
- A U.S. military ID card with a personal photo
- A U.S. citizenship certificate with a personal photo
- A U.S. passport
If no valid photo ID
Voters can still cast votes if they sign a form swearing that they have a "reasonable impediment" from obtaining a proper photo ID. However, those voters will also have to present one of the following types of identification:
- A valid voter registration certificate
- A certified birth certificate
- A document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
- A copy of or an original current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other document that shows the voter's name and address. (Any government document that contains a voter's photo must be an original.)
For more information, including video, visit our news partner, ABC13.