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November 2021 election: What you need to know before voting

The November 2021 elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Here's a guide of what you need to know before voting.

AUSTIN, Texas — The November 2021 elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 2. From city propositions to city councilmembers, voters will have the chance to determine the fate of several local races in just under a month. 

In-person early voting for the Nov. 2 election will run from Monday, Oct. 18 to Friday, Oct. 29. The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot is Friday, Oct. 22.

Mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 or 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 if the envelope was postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day. 

On Election Day, polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For early voters, polls are open at the same time Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

A guide to voting in the election is below: 

Are you registered to vote?

The deadline to register to vote in Texas for the election is Monday, Oct. 4. You can check online to see if you are currently registered to vote.

To register, you must fill out a voter registration application and return it to your county election office at least 30 days before the next election – Nov. 2 in this case.

The application is available online. Texans can also request a printed application be sent to them by mail or contact their local voter registrar to complete the process.

If you are already registered but have moved within the same county since, you must change your information online.

RELATED: Monday is your last day to register to vote. Here's how

What to bring to a polling site to vote in Texas

To vote in person in Texas, you must present a valid photo ID. A list of valid forms of identification is below:

  • Texas drivers licenses issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
  • Texas handgun license issued by DPS
  • U.S. Military Identification Card that contains the person's photograph
  • U.S. Citizenship Certificate that contains the person’s photograph
  • U.S. passport

Here’s a list of what to bring if do not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID and “cannot reasonably obtain one”:

  • Copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name, address, including voter’s voter registrations certificate;
  • Copy of or original current utility bill
  • Copy of or original bank statement
  • Copy of or original government check
  • Copy of or original paycheck; or
  • Copy of or original of (a) a certified birth certificate from a U.S. state or territory or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity

If you are unable to present a valid photo ID, but present one of the forms of supporting ID, you will need to fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

How to request a mail-in ballot

To vote by mail in Texas, you must be 65 years old or older, sick or disabled, out of the county on election day and during the early voting period or confined in jail but otherwise eligible.

The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the November 2021 election is Friday, Oct. 22. To vote by mail, you also must drop your application off to your county elections office.  

You can submit your application by fax or email. However, a hard copy of the application must be mailed and then received by the early voting clerk within four business days.

Applications are available to be printed online. You can also contact your local elections office to receive one or request one from the secretary of state’s office.

Where you can vote

The Countywide Polling Place Program (CWPP) in Texas allows residents of certain counties to vote at any polling place in the county. To see if the county you live in participates in CWPP, click here.

If not, you can find out your polling location on the Texas secretary of state’s website. A list of polling places in Travis County for the November election is also available online.

What's on the ballot? 

One of the biggest ballot measures on the Nov. 2 ballot is Proposition A, which would increase police staffing in Austin. It would require two sworn officers for every 1,000 residents.

RELATED: City certifies Save Austin Now initiative to put police staffing on November ballot, PAC says

Proposition 3, a State of Texas proposition, would stop the state from prohibiting or limiting religious services.

Proposition 6, another State of Texas proposition, would allow people living in certain facilities to choose a designated caregiver for in-person visitation.

The sample ballot for Travis County, which shows all the local contests, is on the Vote Travis website. For Williamson County, visit the Vote WilCo website and fill out the search fields.

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