March 3, 2020
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El Paso County Elections Department | Lisa Wise, Elections Administrator

FAQs

How soon before an election can I register and be able to vote?

Your voter registration becomes effective 30 days after it is submitted (and accepted) by our office. Your name will be added to the voter registration list, a Voter Registration Certificate will be generated, and mailed to you. Once received, be sure to read the information on the back of the certificate, sign by the X on the “front” of the card and keep your voter card in a safe place. Do not mail your Voter Registration Certificate to our office, it is yours to keep. If your original Voter Registration Application is missing required information, you will receive a notice in the mail and have a deadline to respond to the notice.

I’m not sure if I’m registered?

You can confirm your registration status on this website by going to Am I Registered? where you will select one of two methods for conducting your search. You can base your search on: 1. Your first and last name; or 2. Your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID). Or, you can call our office at (915) 546-2154.

What if I lose or never received my Voter Registration Certificate?

New certificates are mailed out every two years to the most recent address you gave to the Voter Registrar. If you do not recall receiving a new certificate, it could mean that you have moved without updating, or there is some other problem with your registration. If the certificate was mailed to an old address, it would have been returned to the Voter Registrar, and you would have been placed on the “suspense list” in El Paso County. This means you have a grace period that allows you to vote in the same county in your old precinct, but if you do not vote your name will be removed from the polls after two federal elections have passed since you were placed on the suspense list. If you did not receive your certificate because you moved to a new Texas County, you will need to re-register.

If you lost your Voter Registration Certificate, call us at (915) 546-2154 and we will issue you a replacement certificate.

What is early voting?

Texas enables residents to vote in the days and weeks before an election to make the voting process more convenient and accessible. There are two ways to vote early: By showing up in person during the prescribed Early Voting period or by voting by mail.

Generally, Early Voting in person begins a few days before Election Day. Vote at a location in your political subdivision that’s close to where you live or work. All other voting rules and procedures apply- e.g., eligibility and location hours. For available Early Voting Locations, visit the Early Voting page a few weeks before every election.

You may vote early by mail if:

  • You will be away from El Paso County on Election Day and during Early Voting;
  • You are sick or disabled;
  • You are 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
  • You are confined in jail, but eligible to vote.

For more information in regards to the Civilian Ballot by Mail process, click here.

What will I need in order to vote in person?

When a voter arrives at a voting location, the voter will be asked to present one of the acceptable forms of identification (listed below). Election officials are required by current Texas Law to determine whether the voter’s name on the identification provided matches the name on the voter registration list (e-poll book). After a voter presents their identification, the election worker will compare it to the voter registration list. If the name on the identification matches the voter registration list, the voter will follow the regular procedures for voting.

If the name does not match exactly but is “substantially similar” to the name on the voter registration list, the voter will be permitted to vote as long as the voter signs a simple affidavit stating that the voter is the same person on the voter registration list (e-poll book).

If a voter does not have proper identification, the voter will still be permitted to vote provisionally. The voter will be given six days after Election Day to present proper identification to the Voter Registrar, or the voter’s provisional ballot will be rejected.

A list of acceptable forms of photo identification when voting in person under Section 63.0101 of the Texas Election Code (SB 14 ID) is below. With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, for voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification must be current or have expired no more than four (4) years before being presented for voter qualification at the voting location. A person 70 years of age or older may use a form of acceptable photo identification that has expired if the identification is otherwise valid.

Acceptable Forms of Photo I.D.
Does not require voter to complete a Reasonable Impediment Declaration at polling place:

  • Texas Driver’s License (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate (DPS)
  • Texas Personal Identification Card (DPS)
  • Texas Handgun License (DPS)
  • United States Military Identification Card
  • United States Citizen Certificate
  • United States Passport (book or card)

Supporting Documents (copy or original)
Requires voter to complete a Reasonable Impediment Declaration at polling place:

  • A government document that shows your name and an address, including your Voter Registration Certificate
  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • A certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity (which may include a foreign birth document)

What does “substantially similar” mean?

A voter’s name on the identification provided (acceptable form of photo ID, or supporting form of ID, if applicable) is considered “substantially similar” if one or more of the following circumstances applies:

  • The name of the ID is slightly different from one or more of the name fields on the voter registration list (e-poll book).
  • The name on the voter’s ID or on the voter registration list is a customary variation of the voter’s formal name. For example, Bill for William, or Beto for Alberto.
  • The voter’s name contains an initial, middle name, or former name but it is either not on the voter registration list or on the voter’s ID or is different on those documents.
  • A first name, middle name, former name or initial of the voter’s name occupies a different field on the presented ID document than it does on the voter registration list.

In considering whether a name is “substantially similar”, election officials will also look at whether information on the presented ID matches elements of the voter’s information on the official voter registration list (e-poll book), such as the voter’s residence address or date of birth.

If I have a government issued identification that contains my photo and it is not on the list above, may I use it?

If you do not have one of the forms of identification listed above and your Voter Registration Certificate does not have a disability exemption noted, you will only be eligible to cast a provisional ballot.

What happens if I refuse to show proof of identity?

Voters who refuse to show proof of identity will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot. However, please be advised that a refusal to show identification is not a valid ground for casting a provisional ballot, and it is likely that the voter’s ballot will be rejected by the ballot board.

Do I still need to bring my Voter Registration Certificate? Will I be able to vote without it?

While you do not need to bring your Voter Registration Certificate with you to vote, we highly recommend that you have it with you at the voting location. In some situations, having your Voter Registration Certificate will allow you to vote a regular ballot instead of a provisional ballot. For example, if your name does not appear on the e-poll book, you may be able to cast a regular ballot by presenting your Voter Registration Certificate along with an acceptable form of photo identification.

Please note that you can contact our office at (915) 546-2154 to obtain a replacement Voter Registration Certificate.

I am reviewing this page and nothing makes sense to me. These are not the rules I have heard. I’m in a state other than Texas, does that matter?

If you are visiting our website from another state, please remember that each state has slightly different laws and rules. There are laws and rules described by Texas State Laws and are intended for voters who consider their permanent residence to be in Texas and want to vote a Texas ballot. If you arrive at this page through a search engine and you need another state’s election law, check the National Association of Secretaries of State page for other state websites.

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The El Paso County Elections Department app is the essential app for voters in the El Paso, Texas region. See if you are registered to vote, find your nearest early voting location, look up your polling location, and get all of the information you need to prepare for election day!

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Registered voters as of Wednesday, February 26, 2020
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