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General Voting FAQs

General FAQs

Voter Registration

Ballot Information

Other General Voting Information

 

Voter Registration FAQs

Where can I check my voter registration?

Check your voter registration on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.

 

I recently registered to vote and haven’t received my voter registration card. Can I still vote?

You may vote without your certificate by presenting an acceptable proof of identity at the polling place. You can check your voter registration online to ensure it was received. You should receive a voter registration certificate within 30 days of submitting your application. Contact the Hays County Elections office at 512-393-7310 if you don’t receive your card within that time.

 

I have recently moved within Hays County from another Hays County address, but it was too late to change the address on my voter registration. Will I still be able to vote?

You may vote but will be required to complete a Statement of Residence form before voting.

 

I moved to Hays County from another county in Texas and forgot to register at my current address before the voter registration deadline. Can I still vote?

You may be eligible to vote a limited ballot in your new county of residence after moving if:
1. you were qualified to vote in your former county at the time you moved; and
2. your registration in the new county is not yet effective.

If you vote a limited ballot, you may vote on all statewide offices and propositions and for all district offices which are common to your new and former counties of residence. You must apply for a limited ballot and vote by personal appearance with the early-voting clerk conducting the election in your new county during the early-voting period. You may also complete a limited ballot by mail if you are already eligible to vote by mail. (Information from the Texas Secretary of State’s website)

 

I recently changed my name but forgot to update my voter registration form by the deadline. Can I still vote?

Promptly notify the Hays County Elections office in writing of your name change or complete the form on the Texas Secretary of State’s website. You will receive a new certificate 30 days after your name-change notice is submitted. You may continue to vote during this period. If you do not receive your new certificate in time to vote, you may sign an affidavit at the polls and present a form of identification.

 

What does it mean if my voter registration is in suspense, and can I still vote?

“Suspense” means that the registrar is not certain of your residential address. If the registrar has reason to believe that a voter’s current residence is different from that indicated on the registration records, then the registrar shall send the voter a written confirmation notice requesting confirmation of the voter’s current residence. When a Notice of Address Confirmation is sent, the voter automatically is put on suspense. As a common practice, a Notice of Address Confirmation is sent (and an individual is placed on suspense) when:

  1. The voter’s registration certificate has been returned as non-deliverable;
  2. A jury summons is returned as non-deliverable;
  3. Any mailing that was sent to the voter was returned as non-deliverable;
  4. The voter registrar has received information indicating the voter no longer resides at the address on the voter’s record.

A voter whose status is on suspense is eligible to vote in an election provided that the voter completes a Statement of Residence either when voting by mail or at the polls prior to voting (within the same county as the voter’s current registration) or (if the voter has moved to a new county) completes a Limited Ballot application during early voting. A voter on suspense who has moved within the same county would be allowed to vote on Election Day by completing a Statement of Residence at that time. A voter may also complete a Voter Registration Application to update his/her address prior the voter registration deadline for any election and send the newly updated application to the Hays County elections office.

 

Ballot Information FAQs

What candidates will be on my ballot?

Sample ballots for each precinct are on the Hays County Elections site.

 

Where can I find more information about our Democratic candidates?

Learn more about our 2020 Democratic candidates at this link.

 

What is a provisional ballot, and what happens to that ballot?
The Federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 provides for provisional voting if a voter’s name does not appear on the list of registered voters due to an administrative error. If your name is not on the rolls of registered voters in your precinct [or county now that we have countywide voting centers] but you believe you are registered, the election judge at the polling location will attempt to determine if you are registered somewhere else in your county. If yes, you will be allowed to vote and your address will be updated.

If your registration cannot be found, you may cast a provisional vote by filling out an affidavit. Your ballot is kept separate from the regular ballots, and the case will be reviewed by the provisional voting ballot board. The ballot will be counted only if the voter is determined to be a registered voter in that precinct/county. By the 10th day after the local canvass, provisional voters will receive a notice in the mail advising them if their provisional ballots were counted and, if they were not counted, the reason why.

If you vote provisionally, you will need to visit the Hays County Elections Administrator’s office within six calendar days of the date of the election to either present one of the seven acceptable forms of photo ID in order for your provisional ballot to be counted. The State of Texas provides certain other options for those who qualify if you are not able to present one of the seven acceptable forms of ID, including the execution of a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and presenting one of the acceptable forms of supporting ID.

 

Why are Republicans listed first in many of the races on the 2020 general election ballot?

Ballot order for the general election is based on which party prevailed in the most recent gubernatorial election. Republican Greg Abbott won the 2018 gubernatorial race, so Republicans are listed first on the general election ballot.

Why can’t I vote a straight-party ticket in this election?

In 2017 the Texas Legislature passed HB 25, which ended straight-party voting in time for the 2020 election. U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ruled in September 2020 that straight-party voting should be reinstated for the general election, saying that not having it would “cause important delays at polling places, place Texan voters at increased risk of catching a deadly virus, and discourage voters, particularly those most vulnerable to the disease or under significant economic pressure, from exercising their rights on election day.” Despite those good reasons, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned her decision on appeal by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

 

Other General Voting FAQs

Does our voting system in Hays County use modems to transmit voting information?

The Hays County elections administrator has confirmed that all of the county’s voting tabulation and election information equipment operates offline. The voter registration system is the only election information that is online.

 

How can I volunteer to be a poll watcher?

Poll watchers, who are appointed by the political parties, candidates, or proponents or opponents of a ballot measure, need to have the proper signed paperwork from the appointing authority. Anyone who is interested in being a poll watcher should read the Poll Watcher’s Guide from the Secretary of State’s office, and then complete the appropriate form to be appointed by the Hays County Democratic Party or by a candidate and get the appropriate signatures. Also consider signing up with the Texas Democratic Party’s voter integrity program.

 

What is the status of the various lawsuits filed by the Texas Democratic Party to overcome voter-suppression attempts by Republicans?

You can read updates about the legal efforts of the Texas Democratic Party on their website.

 

Where can I get candidate signs?

During election season, signs are usually available at the Hays County Democratic Party’s office, 215 W San Antonio St. in San Marcos (use the side door). Call the office at 512-392-0840 to see what candidate signs are available. You can also directly contact the candidates’ campaigns.

 

My homeowner’s association says I can’t put candidate signs in my yard or they limit me to only one sign. Can they do that?

Texas Property Code, Title 11, Chapter 202.009 says that your homeowner’s association must allow the following:

  1. at least one sign PER CANDIDATE or BALLOT ITEM
  2. display of political signs of any size up to 4 feet by 6 feet
  3. display of political signs at least 90 days before and up to 10 days after the related election

Any HOA rule that restricts you from doing any of those things is in violation of state law and is not enforceable. Do not allow your HOA to infringe your right to support the candidates and ballot items of your choice.