BURNET — Along with seven forms of photo identification, election officials have recently expanded acceptable forms of ID for voting to include original birth certificates, paychecks, utility bills and bank statements.
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals tasked a judge with finding solutions to the ruling that accused a 2011 Texas law of making it more difficult for minorities to vote.
Those who do not have one of the seven original forms of approved ID with them can choose to vote a provisional ballot and then go to the elections office within six days of Election Day to show the approved form of ID, or they can pick from the newly added, acceptable documents and fill out a declaration form and vote a regular ballot.
The seven forms of approved photo IDs are:
• Texas driver’s 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 license to carry a handgun issued by DPS
• U.S. military identification card that includes the person’s photograph
• U.S. citizenship certificate that includes the person’s photograph
• U.S. passport
Expanded acceptable documentation without photo IDs are:
• Valid voter registration certificate
• Utility bill with an address
• Bank statement with an address
• Government check or private paycheck with an address
• Original government documents with the voter’s name and an address
The address on the expanded list of documents does not have to match the address in the voter registration database.
Local elections administrators said the change might cause minor delays.
“Hopefully, at the polls, it won’t cause too much of a delay because, in all honesty, people have been using their driver’s license to vote the last several years. Very few have had to vote provisionally because of an ID,” said Burnet County Elections Administrator Doug Ferguson.
“It’s going to be harder for people to just understand, especially poll workers, what all the requirements and all the options are as far as running the thing because so few people are going to fall in this category.”
Ferguson said voters should be aware of other considerations as well concerning photo IDs.
“With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the approved photo ID must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place,” he said.
Voters can contact the Burnet County Elections office at (512) 715-5288.
To find out more, go to VoteTexas.gov or call 1-800-252-VOTE.
“Everybody just make sure your registration is up to date,” Ferguson said. “If you’ve moved, make sure you call our office, get a voter registration application, do a change of address. If you’ve recently moved into the county, get yourself registered.”
Early voting is Oct. 24-Nov. 4. The general election is Nov. 8.