Vote Anywhere Tuesday, But Only Once
After months of campaigning and more than a billion dollars spent, Texans head to the polls tomorrow to pick the next leaders of our state and country. If you haven’t voted since the 2010 election, there are some changes here in Travis County you should be aware of.
Let’s start with something that hasn’t changed. Well it did, but then the courts said Texas had to un-change it.
When you vote tomorrow the state’s new photo ID law will not be in effect. But Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade says you’ll still have to show something that says you are who you say you are.
“Hopefully you’ll bring your voter registration card with you,” Andrade said. “But if you do not have that, we have a very user-friendly website, votetexas.gov, that has a list of accepted identification that you can bring with you.”
Acceptable forms of ID include a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
Now let’s get into the big change for this presidential election. You probably know that during early voting you can stop anywhere with a “Vote Here” sign. That’s usually at a grocery store or other high-traffic public location.
The point is to make the polls convenient for voters no matter where they are. So Travis County has decided to adopt that strategy on Election Day. “You can vote at any one of the polling places that are designated” within Travis County, said County Clerk Dana Debeauvoir.
Now before you get the wrong idea, this new system doesn’t mean people can hit multiple polling places to vote. Debeauvoir says the county has set up a system to catch it if someone tries to vote more than once.
“Once you go in and vote, then your name is marked off the voter registration list,” she said. “And every single polling place maintains a direct connection to the voter registration roll. So we all know the minute you vote; you’re scratched off the voter registration roll, and all the polling places know it.”
So, say you live in Shady Hollow but work in Pflugerville. Just find any polling place nearby. If you usually cast a ballot in Bee Cave but have a meeting in Manor tomorrow, feel free to vote there. Just vote, Debeauvoir says.
“Sometimes I feel like the mother of elections,” she said. “It’s eat your vegetables and go vote.”
So just in case you’ve missed the point of this story: You really have no excuse not to vote.