I just moved to Bell County, how do I register to vote?
Am I Registered to Vote?
To find out if you are registered or to confirm your voter registration status visit the Texas Secretary of State website at: https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do
Do I need an ID to vote?
No, on August 10, 2016, a federal district court entered an order changing the voter identification requirements for all elections held in Texas after August 10, 2016 until further notice. As a result, voters who possess an acceptable form of photo identification for voting listed below are still required to present it in order to vote in person in all Texas elections. The acceptable form of photo identification may be expired up to four years. Voters who do not possess an acceptable form of photo identification and cannot obtain one of the forms of acceptable photo identification listed below due to a reasonable impediment, may present a supporting form of identification and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, noting the voter’s reasonable impediment to obtaining an acceptable form of photo identification, and stating that the voter is the same person on the presented supporting form of identification.
Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID:
- 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
The name on my ID and Voter registration do not match, will I be allowed to vote?
Election officials will review the ID and if a name is “substantially similar” to the name on their list of registered voters, you will still be able to vote, but you will also have to submit an affidavit stating that you are the same person on the list of registered voters.
A voter’s name is considered substantially similar if one or more of the following circumstances applies:
- The name on the ID is slightly different from one or more of the name fields on the official list of registered voters.
- The name on the voter’s ID or on list of registered voters is a customary variation of the voter’s formal name. For example, Bill for William, or Beto for Alberto.
- The voter’s name contains an initial, middle name, or former name that is either not on the official list of registered voters or on the voter’s ID.
- A first name, middle name, former name or initial of the voter’s name occupies a different field on the presented ID document than it does on the list of registered voters.
According to the Texas Secretary of State, poll workers should try their best to determine that the person is who he says he is. In considering whether a name is substantially similar, poll workers will also look at whether information on the presented ID matches elements of the voter’s information on the official list of registered voters such as the voter’s residence address or date of birth.
The photo in my ID is old and I look completely different now will I be turned away?
Poll workers are to use the “totality of the circumstances” when qualifying the voter by not just comparing a voter’s image, but their name, address and date of birth in determining whether or not to accept the voter. SOS says they understand that a voter may have an ID that while unexpired and on the list of the seven acceptable forms of ID, may not contain a photograph that reflects their current appearance.
If the ID presented by the voter does not allow the poll worker to confirm the voter’s identity, the voter may offer another form of acceptable ID, should s/he choose. If the voter does not offer another form of acceptable ID, s/he should be offered a provisional ballot and provided with a Notice to Provisional Voter. Within six days of the election, the voter may visit the Voter Registrar and provide official documentation reflecting a name change, a certificate from a licensed physician or other official documentation that will allow the Voter Registrar to verify the identity of the voter. Alternatively, the voter may also execute an affidavit stating that s/he is the same person.
Does the address on the photo id have to match the address on the voter registration?
For the purposes of voting, the address on your id and the address on your voter registration do not have to match. The id is to prove your identity, not your residency. However, if the addresses do not match, you probably need to update either your id or your registration for other purposes. You can update your voter registration address online by clicking here.
Where can I get more information on the Texas Voter ID Law?
What is a Precinct Chair?
A precinct is the smallest political subdivision in Texas. Texas counties are divided into individual precincts, and it is the responsibility of the Precinct Chair to contact, guide and organize Democratic voters in their respective precinct. Precinct Chairs also sit on the County Executive Committee, which conducts the local business of the Party. The duties and responsibilities of Precinct Chairs provide fundamental services to party effectiveness.
What are Precinct Chairs responsible for?
- Working with others to mobilize and organize voters and get them to the polls
- Representing their precinct on the County Executive Committee
- Bridging the gap between voters and elected officials
- Serves as the contact person for the Democratic Party in their neighborhood
How do I become a Precinct Chair?
Qualified candidates are elected every two years to serve a two-year term by voters in their precinct in the Democratic Primary Election. Interested candidates should complete this form and submit it to the Chair of the Bell County Democratic Party.
What are the qualifications to be a Precinct Chair?
You must be a Democrat, 18 years of age or older, a qualified (registered) voter in Bell County, reside in the precinct you wish to represent, and vote in the Democratic Primary election. Precinct Chairs cannot be a candidate for nor holder of elected office of the federal, state or local government.
What is a vacancy appointment?
If a precinct has no Chair, it is considered vacant. A qualified candidate may be nominated by their State Senate District Vacancy Committee to fill the seat for the remainder of the term of office. Nominations must be confirmed by a majority vote of the County Executive Committee.
What do Precinct Chairs do?
In addition to serving as voting member of the CEC, Precinct Chairs are the contact person for the Democratic Party in their neighborhood. They should be familiar with other Democrats in the area and promote Democratic candidates and events whenever possible. Some organize “block walks” in their area (go door to door) to distribute campaign materials or to encourage their neighbors to vote in upcoming elections.
If available, Precinct chairs are asked to serve as election judges to conduct the Democratic Primary in their precinct and convene their precinct conventions, immediately after the polls close for the Democratic Primary Election.
Precinct Chairs are political positions. They are volunteers and are not paid.
What is an Election Judge?
Election judges conduct all the elections in a precinct during the year.
How do I become an Election Judge?
Election Judges are appointed each year by Bell County Commissioners from a list of qualified persons submitted by each political party. If possible, Election Judges should reside in the precinct they represent.
What is a Presiding Judge?
Teams of two judges are appointed for each precinct. The presiding judge is from the party that received the most votes for Governor in the last election. The alternate is from the other party and serves as an election clerk unless needed to fill in for the presiding judge. Both judges are required to attend training.
What does an Election Judge do?
Judges pick up some election equipment shortly before an election, mark early voters in the poll book, locate clerks to work at their polling location, organize the set up of the election equipment and the operation of the election, and return the equipment immediately after the last vote is casted.
Judges are responsible for following Texas Election Law and conducting a fair election. Although each judge represents a political party, no display of any party affiliation is allowed during the election.
Judges are paid for the time they work at the polls and for training attended.