Prepare for new voter ID rules

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Denton County Elections Administrator Frank Phillips issued a reminder recently that the Nov. 5 election is fast approaching and would-be voters will need to make sure they have photo identification if they plan to go to the polls.

Under the state’s new voter identification law, each registered voter must present an acceptable photo ID card at a polling place to cast a ballot. The law took effect after a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year allowed its implementation.

Phillips said he and his staff are working to make sure Denton County voters understand the new identification requirements and have all the information they need to cast their ballots. By preparing now, he said, voters can make sure there are no complications when the polls open for the election.

Although the voter ID law has been controversial and has faced legal challenges, would-be voters are running out of time, and we encourage everyone to take Phillips’ advice and make sure they have a valid photo ID so they can cast a ballot on Election Day.

The accepted forms of photo identification include:

Texas driver’s license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety;

Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by the DPS;

Texas personal identification card issued by the DPS;

Texas concealed handgun license issued by the DPS;

U.S. military identification card containing the person’s photograph;

U.S. citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph; or a U.S. passport.

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented at the polling place.

Phillips said the photo ID requirement is for voters casting a ballot in person, not by mail. Voters age 65 and older may vote by mail.

Voters may use IDs that do not exactly match the name on their IDs if the names are substantially similar but will have to sign an affidavit stating they are the same person, officials said.

Complete information about the photo ID requirements can be found at www.votetexas.gov.

In addition to deciding the fate of several proposed constitutional amendments, some voters will vote on local issues during the Nov. 5 election. In the Denton school district, for example, a $312 million bond package that would fund the construction of a fourth high school, two new elementary schools, another middle school and other improvements is on the ballot.

Early voting in the Nov. 5 election begins Oct. 21, and area locations for early voting can be found at www.votedenton.com. For more information, call 940-349-3200.


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