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Texas Secretary of State announces voter education initiative coming to Austin

The "Ready. Check. Vote." campaign aims to inform Texans about the seven approved forms of photo IDs they can bring with them to vote.

AUSTIN, Texas — In February, Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs announced a new statewide initiative aimed at educating Texas voters about what to bring to the polls.

According to Hughs' office, the "Ready. Check. Vote." campaign will utilize a variety of platforms to inform Texans about the seven approved forms of photo ID they can bring with them to vote and what to do if they don't possess and cannot obtain one of those forms.

"This initiative is aimed at ensuring Texas voters are informed, prepared and ready to cast their ballot in the 2020 elections," Hughs said. "The grassroots tour provides an opportunity for Texans to interact with the campaign, ask questions and learn how to participate in the voting process."

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Texas voters who have one of the following seven approved forms of photo ID must present that ID at the polls:

  • Texas Drivers License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (Note: the license does not have to be REAL ID compliant.)
  • 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 containing the voter's photograph
  • U.S. Citizenship Certificate containing the voter's photograph
  • U.S. passport, book or card

With the exception of the citizenship certificate, which doesn't expire, the approved photo ID must be current or, for voters 18 to 69 years old, have expired no more than four years before being presented at the polls. Voters 70 years old or older may use one of the above forms of ID that has expired at any point if it is otherwise valid.

Voters who don't have and can't reasonably obtain one of those forms may execute a "Reasonable Impediment Declaration" form, available at every polling location, and provide a supporting form of ID. That supporting form may be a copy or original of one of the following:

  • a government document that shows the voter's name and address, including the voter's voter registration certificate
  • a current utility bill
  • a bank statement
  • a paycheck
  • a certified U.S. state or territory birth certificate
  • a document confirming birth admissible in the court of law which establishes the voter's identity (which may include a foreign birth document)

Additionally, some voters may qualify for an exemption to presenting an acceptable form of photo ID or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure. Voters with a disability may apply with their county voter registrar for a permanent exemption. Voters with a religious objection to being photographed or who don't present an approved form of ID or follow the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure because of certain natural disasters may apply for a temporary exemption. For more information, voters may contact their county voter registrar.

The address on any of the above approved or supporting forms of ID doesn't have to match the voter's address on the list of registered voters.

RELATED: Remembering the 'Texas two-step': How Texas Democratic Party voters had two ways to vote for their favorite presidential candidate

The Texas Legislature appropriated funding to Hughs' office for this initiative during its 2019 session.

The tour will travel about 3,000 miles and visit 46 cities across the state from Sept. 10 through Oct. 8:

  1. Austin – September 10
  2. San Marcos – September 10
  3. San Antonio – September 14
  4. Junction – September 15
  5. Sonora – September 15
  6. Fort Stockton – September 15
  7. Van Horn – September 15
  8. El Paso – September 16
  9. Big Lake – September 21
  10. Midland – September 22
  11. Odessa – September 22
  12. Lamesa – September 22
  13. Lubbock – September 23
  14. Sweetwater – September 23
  15. Post – September 23
  16. Snyder – September 23
  17. Abilene – September 24
  18. Brady – September 24
  19. Fredericksburg – September 24
  20. Comfort – September 24
  21. New Braunfels – September 28
  22. Temple – September 28
  23. Fort Worth – September 29
  24. Arlington – September 29
  25. Grapevine – September 29
  26. Richardson – September 29
  27. Dallas – September 30
  28. Terrell – September 30
  29. Tyler – October 1
  30. Lufkin – October 1
  31. Beaumont – October 2
  32. Houston – October 2-3
  33. Three Rivers – October 5
  34. Corpus Christi – October 6
  35. Kingsville – October 6
  36. Brownsville – October 7
  37. San Benito – October 7
  38. Harlingen – October 7
  39. Pharr – October 7
  40. McAllen – October 7
  41. Edinburg – October 7
  42. Hebbronville – October 7
  43. Laredo – October 8
  44. Cotulla – October 8
  45. Devine – October 8
  46. Von Ormy – October 8

WATCH: The history of the 'Texas two-step' primary voting system

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