It’s that time again. Here’s a message from County Clerk Stan Stanart, via the inbox:
As early voting gets underway for the March 4, 2014 Democratic and Republican Party Primary Elections, Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart reminds voters that photo identification is required to vote at the polls. Early voting will take place from February 18th – 28th at 39 locations across Harris County. The complete list of every voting locations and times can be found at www.HarrisVotes.com.
“The Photo ID requirement to vote at the poll applies in all elections in Texas,” stressed Stanart, the Chief Election Officer of the County. The state approved Photo IDs for voting include:
- 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 concealed 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
With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate and some military identification, the ID must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented at the polling place.
Voters may apply for an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) at no charge at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) if they do not have one of the credentials on the list of acceptable forms of photo identification, during regular business hours Monday – Friday. In addition, as part of the continuing effort to ensure voters have the proper identification to vote, the following DPS offices in Harris County will be open on Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., through March 1, 2014, to issue EICs:
Harris County Department of Public Safety (DPS) Offices
Harris County Baytown Office 5420 Decker Drive, Baytown, TX 77520 (281) 424-3669 Houston East Office 11039 East Freeway (I-10), #B, Houston, TX 77029 (713) 633-9872 Houston Dacoma Office 4545 Dacoma, Houston, TX 77092, (713) 683-0541 Houston Gessner Mega Center 12220 S Gessner, Houston, TX 77071 (713) 219-4100 Houston Grant Road Office 10503 Grant Rd, Houston, TX 77070 (281) 890-5440 Houston Townhurst Office 1601 Townhurst, Houston, TX 77043 (713) 465-8462 Houston Spring Mega Center 4740 Spring Cypress, #100, Spring, TX 77379 (281) 517-1620 Houston Vantage Parkway Office 15403 Vantage Pkwy E., Ste. 300, Houston, TX 77032 (281) 449-2685 Houston Winkler Office 9206 Winkler, Houston, TX 77017 (713) 943-0631 Humble Office 7710 Will Clayton Pkwy., Humble, TX 77338, (281) 446-3391 Pasadena Office 2783 Red Bluff Rd. #100, Pasadena, TX 77503 (713) 473-3232 Webster Office 111 Tristar Dr., Webster, TX 77598 (281) 486-8242
Voters may find more information on the requirements to apply for an EIC, exemptions and process for obtaining an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) at http://www.dps.texas.gov/.
Voters who qualify to vote by mail are generally exempt from the Photo ID requirement. All ballot by mail applications for the March Primaries must be received at the County Clerk’s Office by Friday, February 21st.
“In the Nov. 2013 Election, the first election in which Photo ID was required at the poll in Texas, over 99.9% of the voters in Harris County were prepared and able to provide an acceptable form of Photo ID. The work to make voters aware of the new law was successful and continues,” informed Stanart. “I am expecting the primary elections will go equally as well.”
To obtain an early voting schedule and more election information, voters may visit www.HarrisVotes.com or call 713-755-6965.
Of course as we know, implementation of the voter ID law for the 2013 elections didn’t go quite as seamlessly as Stan Stanart would like you to believe, and there are many people who think problems will be far more prevalent in 2014. Be that as it may, pending the outcome of future litigation it remains the law, so bring your ID and make sure your vote counts. For those of you that may be working at a polling location, please see this advisory from the Secretary of State about electioneering and other activities that are legal and illegal at voting locations. I’ll keep track of turnout as we go. There are many important races out there, so get out and vote.