Do You Need an ID to Vote This Election Day?
November 7, 2011

The Texas Legislature passed a Voter ID law during the session, but it won’t be in effect on election day, Tuesday, November 8, according to the ACLU.
Election judges and voters have expressed concern and a bit of confusion about the type of ID that would be required to cast a ballot.
The ACLU has issued the following information.  

ACLU Of Texas: Voter ID Law Is Not In Effect

Hotline Available For Voters Who Encounter Problems On Election Day

HOUSTON – The ACLU of Texas wants voters to know that they do not need to provide a photo ID at the polls because the new law known as Voter ID has not yet taken effect.

“We hope that all the confusion surrounding what form of identification is necessary to vote will not keep people from going out and voting on election day,” said Dotty Griffith, Director of Public Education for the ACLU of Texas.  “The take home message is that voter ID rules have not yet changed, and we urge all people eligible to vote to head to the polls tomorrow, regardless of if they have a photo ID.”

“Harris County election officials were first given instructions that voters had to show a photo ID. That instruction is flat out wrong,” said Rebecca Robertson, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy. “We understand that the manual used by election officials has now been corrected, and we hope this confusion has not occurred in other counties, but we are concerned that voters without photo ID will be turned away. Voters who encounter problems at the polls should call ACLU’s Voter Protection Hotline, 877-523-2792.” 

The voter ID bill (SB 14), which will require Texans to show a valid photo ID to vote, won’t go into  effect until January 1, 2012. 

A copy of the informational flyer is available below.



Vote as you always have—the ID requirements have not yet changed.

You are NOT required to have or show photo identification. If you did not provide an ID number when you registered to vote, you may be asked to show identification.  (It does not need to be a photo ID: you can show a utility bill, bank statement, photo identification, government check, or other government document that has your name and address.)


Before November 8:

  1. Find out where to go vote:
  2. Plan ahead, particularly if you require some form of assistance.
  3. Be wary of rumors and false information that may be designed to discourage you from voting.

On November 8:

  1. Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  You can vote if you are in line by 7 p.m.
  2. You are NOT required to have or show photo identification.
  3. Wear comfortable and adequate clothing in case of long lines or inclement weather. Do not wear candidate-specific clothing.
  4. Take your time and read all instructions carefully. Ask for help if you need it.

Problems?  Questions? 

Call ACLU’s Voter Protection Hotline:  877-523-2792


MALDEF: 877-224-5476

Local Groups Make Request For DOJ Election Monitors
October 28, 2010

Citing concerns about voter intimidation,  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-18) and the conservative King Street Patriots have made separate requests to the Department of   Justice for election day poll monitors.

In a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder early Thursday, Jackson Lee said she was seeking the monitors to ensure a safe and neutral voting environment during the November 2 election.

“Although there are usually a few isolated occurrences of  voter intimidation during the election season,  the incidents that took place at polling places earlier this week appeared  to be organized and systemic,” wrote Congresswoman Jackson-Lee.  “The group thought to be  behind these acts is known as the King Street Patriots, reportedly tied to some Tea Party activists.”

Not to be outdone, the King Street Patriots also sent a letter to the Department of  Justice asking for federal election monitors.

“We are so  concerned about these attacks against volunteer poll-watchers, most of  whom are stay-at-home moms or elderly, that we have asked the Justice Department to help and even attend True the Vote poll watcher trainings,” said Jonathon Saenz, an attorney with the Liberty Institute.

 The letters were sent on the same day that Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman and County Attorney Vince Ryan held a news conference to discuss allegations of  voter intimidation.

Both officials confirmed that their offices have received about sixty complaints of  election code violations, however, none has been substantiated.

I’ve left a message with the Department of  Justice seeking a comment about the requests for monitors.