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Texans in disaster areas may qualify for photo ID exemption

May 5, 2016
Contact: Alicia Pierce or Mari Bergman

AUSTIN, TX – Today, Texas Secretary of State Carlos H. Cascos reminded voters in disaster areas they may qualify for an exemption to photo ID requirements when voting in the May 7 Election and May 24 Primary Runoff.

“If you reside in a recently declared disaster area and do not have access to your photo ID because of flooding, you can still cast a ballot by seeking an exemption,” said Secretary Cascos.

Since June of 2013, Texas residents have been required to show a photo ID when voting in person. There is, however, an exemption for voters who do not have their photo ID as a result of a declared natural disaster. On April 18, Governor Greg Abbott declared the following counties disaster areas: Austin, Bastrop, Colorado, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harris, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton. On April 22 he added Bosque, Fayette, Liberty, Milam, Palo Pinto, Parker, and San Jacinto counties.
The seven forms of approved photo ID are:

  1. Texas Driver License – issued by the Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  2. Texas Personal Identification Card – issued by DPS
  3. Texas Concealed Handgun License – issued by DPS
  4. United States Military Identification card containing the person’s photograph
  5. United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
  6. United States Passport – issued by the U.S. government
  7. Election Identification Certificate – issued free by DPS

If voters lose or cannot access their ID as a result of an event declared a natural disaster by the President of the United States or the Governor, they may vote a provisional ballot and then visit their voter registrar after voting and up to 6 days after the election to present an approved ID or sign an affidavit that they cannot access their ID because of the disaster.

With that step, the provisional ballot will be counted as a regular ballot assuming all other requirements are met. The proclaimed natural disaster may not occur more than 45 days before the date the ballot was cast.

Early voting for the statewide primary runoff begins Monday, May 16, and ends Friday, May 20. Election Day for the Primary Runoff is May 24.

Texans can remain current on election information by following the Secretary of State on Twitter and Instagram, as well as “liking” the Texas Secretary of State on Facebook.