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FAQs for Voting in Person

Click on each question to be directed to the answer.

 

Where and when can I vote?

The Fall 2020 early-voting period runs from Tuesday, Oct. 13, to Friday, Oct. 30. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Polling sites in Hays County will be open for the following dates and times:

Early Voting Week 1

  • Tuesday, Oct. 13 – Friday, Oct. 16: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 17: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 18: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Early Voting Week 2

  • Monday, Oct. 19 – Friday, Oct. 23: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 24: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 25: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Early Voting Week 3

  • Monday, Oct. 26 – Friday, Oct. 30: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Election Day

  • Tuesday, Nov. 3: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

You may vote at any open polling location in the county on both election day and during early voting. The Hays County Elections website has a list of Fall 2020 early-voting and election-day locations available in English and Spanish. You can see a map of early-voting locations at https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1TatPvByMDc8rE4E4jcogFbwK6MiL3G0z and election-day locations at https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1BIGfYVyqcs01NM7L6lkZAPHYan9xQ93L.

 

What precautions are election workers taking to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure at the polling sites?

Per the Hays County elections administrator, all polling sites will two or more check-in stations instead of just one, and each site will have 8-10 workers with someone specifically assigned to ensuring that people are properly social distancing in the lines. Polling sites will also have plastic germ barriers, and hand sanitizer is provided at each location. While masks are strongly encouraged at the polling sites, election workers cannot require them under current guidance from the governor.

 

What should I bring with me to the polling site?

Be sure to bring an appropriate form of ID and a mask. Consider bringing your own pen to use when checking in and a stylus or a pencil with an eraser to use to mark your selections at the voting machine. You may also want to be prepared for long lines and bring water, snacks, and perhaps a camping chair. Know who you want to vote for (Democratic candidates are marked as such, but easy straight-party voting is no longer an option for the 2020 election). Don’t wear clothing with any political messages, logos, or symbols.

 

How can I find out how long the wait is at the various polling sites?

Hays County now has a dashboard for monitoring the wait times at polling sites. Check it out here.

 

What forms of ID are acceptable for voting?

Acceptable forms of ID for voting in Texas are the following:

  • 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)

 

What if my photo ID has expired or I don’t have a photo ID?

With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, for voters ages 18-69 the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters ages 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.

Voters can present one of the following supporting forms of ID if they don’t possess one of the forms of acceptable photo ID and cannot reasonably obtain one:

  • copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address (such as a voter registration certificate)
  • copy of or original current utility bill
  • copy of or original bank statement
  • copy of or original government check
  • copy of or original paycheck
  • copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law that establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document)

After presenting one of the forms of supporting ID listed above, the voter must execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

 

I can’t find my voter registration card. Can I still vote without it?

Yes, you can vote without presenting your voter registration card if you present an appropriate form of ID or one of the supporting forms of ID listed in the previous question.

 

I forgot to bring my photo ID with me to vote, and I don’t have another supporting form of ID with me. I just waited in a long line and don’t want to leave and wait in line again. Can I still vote?

If you have an acceptable form of photo ID but forgot to bring it with you and you don’t want to leave and come back with it, you can vote provisionally. For your provisional ballot to be counted, you must present the acceptable form of photo ID to the county elections administrator within six days. 

 

My address on my ID doesn’t match where I’m registered to vote? Is that a problem?

Your address as printed on your photo ID does not need to match your address as it appears on your voter registration. Even if these addresses are completely different, you will be allowed to vote with a regular ballot.

 

When voting in person, can I refer to notes I made on my phone?

Election judges can use discretion if a voter is checking their phone for notes about who to vote for. Cell phones are not allowed in polling places for talking or taking photos or video. You can’t take a selfie of yourself voting inside the polling place.

 

What accommodations are available for voters with disabilities?

All polling locations are handicapped accessible. The e-Slate voting system is fully accessible and has an audio feature that allows any voter to listen to the ballot. Voters can also receive assistance if they cannot read or write or if they have a physical disability that prevents them from reading or marking the ballot. Tell the election official if you need help with voting. You do not have to provide proof of your disability.

You MAY be assisted by:

  • any person of your choice; or
  • one election worker during early voting; or
  • two election workers on election day.

You may NOT be assisted by:

  • your employer; or
  • an agent of your employer; or
  • an officer or agent of your union.

The person assisting you must take an oath that he or she will not try to influence your vote, must mark your ballot as you direct, and must read the entire ballot to you, unless you ask to have only parts of the ballot read. If you choose to be assisted by election officials, a poll watcher and/or state election inspector present in the polling place may observe the voting process to be sure that the ballot has been marked as you wanted. If you ask to be assisted by a person of your choosing, no one else may watch you vote.

It is illegal for a person assisting you to:

  • mark your ballot in a way other than the way you have asked; or
  • tell anyone how you voted; or
  • try to influence your vote.

Learn more about services available to voters with disabilities at https://www.votetexas.gov/voters-with-special-needs/index.html.

 

What should I do if I have a mail-in ballot but I want to vote in person instead?

The preferred method is to take your mail-in ballot to the elections office and complete the cancellation form, which will help alleviate delays at the polling sites. Otherwise, you can surrender your mail-in ballot at the polling site so it can be canceled in the database before you can vote in person. This process slows down the check-in system, so please try to do it during early voting and at a time when lines aren’t very long. If you can’t find your ballot or if you never received it, you can cast a provisional ballot in person. Your provisional vote will be counted after the election administrators determine that they never received your mail-in ballot. The elections office doesn’t discard canceled mail-in ballots but instead marks them as canceled and keeps them with the cancellation form.

 

What kind of voting machines does Hays County use?

The Hays County Elections office uses the Hart InterCivic Verity Duo Voting System. You can watch a video about using this machine at https://vimeo.com/358837470.

 

What should I do if I see something questionable happening at a polling site?

Please contact the Hays County Democratic Party’s election information team at elections@HaysCountyDemocrats.org or by phone or text at (512) 256-0146. The Texas Voter Protection hotline is 866-OUR-VOTE or 866-687-8683. The Texas Democratic Party has built a large voter-protection team. You can call their hotline at 844-TX-VOTES