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Texas bill: A step towards better voter ID education, greater transparency
04/24/17 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017 - 12:00

The state has a responsibility to educate the public about voter identification requirements under SB 14, the voter ID law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011. In July 2016, the state was also ordered by a federal court to engage in a $2.5 million voter ID education campaign as part of an interim remedy agreement. Despite evidence that the 2016 voter ID education campaign was not entirely successful, the state has not been forthcoming with details about the plan.

HB 3328 seeks to increase government transparency in the interest of improving voter ID education efforts by making information related to public spending on voter ID education public information subject to disclosure under the Public Information Act. The exceptions described in Sections 552.101 and 552.103 of the Government Code would no longer apply to such information.

Recent rulings that Texas' voting laws discriminate put pressure on the state, but the road ahead is long
04/24/17 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017 - 01:00

Lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to address the discriminatory issues found with the voter ID law. But Democrats say it falls short of meeting the standards that a district court set last year.

Plaintiffs want District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi to consider throwing out the law after the legislative session and returning the state to the federal government's "pre-clearance" list.

But even if that happened, the Texas attorney general's office would almost certainly challenge the decision in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. ...

The parties in the [redistricting] case are set to meet in San Antonio on Thursday. The three-judge panel will hear updates on whether a trial is needed and what a timeline for the rest of the case might look like.

But the panel has moved slowly and methodically throughout the case for over six years. It is unlikely to grant the plaintiffs' requests — for new congressional maps for the 2018 elections and federal oversight — before tackling other remaining issues, such as whether the 2013 interim maps were also discriminatory.

And even if the court sided with the plaintiffs in a trial and struck down the maps, Texas could appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court — dragging out the case even longer.

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Kentucky Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 11

For more information, visit the Kentucky State Board of Elections website or Kentucky Statutes Title X.

Election Day:

Polls are required to be open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (local time) on Election Day.   Persons in line at the polls at 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote.  Persons who arrive to the polls after 6:00 p.m. will not be allowed to vote.

Kentucky does not have early voting, although certain voters may be able to vote an in-person absentee ballot early at their county clerk’s office. For more information visit

How to Find Your Polling Place: Visit the Kentucky State Board of Elections Voter Information Center


Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.

Registration Deadlines: You must register at least 29 days prior to the General Election. The deadline for this year’s General Election is Tuesday, October 11.

How to Check Your Registration: Use Kentucky’s Voter Information Center.

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in Kentucky, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be a resident of Kentucky and the precinct in which you plan to vote on at least the day before the Registration books close; for this year’s General Election, you must be a resident as of Tuesday, October 11;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day;
  • Not be barred from voting due to a disqualifying conviction;
  • Not be in confinement on Election Day under the judgment of a court for a penal offense; and
  • Not have been declared mentally incompetent by a court of law.

How to Register: Kentucky residents may register, online, by mail or in person:


In order to register online, you must provide your name, Social Security number and date of birth. Applicants can apply to register online via the Kentucky Online Voter Registration website.

By Mail

In order to register by mail, you must obtain a mail-in registration card by:

In Person

You may register to vote in person at your local County Clerk’s Office.

Identification Required for Registration:

Voters may register online or by mail without identification; however, see “Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot” to determine what type of identification voters must provide when voting at the polls on Election Day. 

If You Want to Vote Early

Kentucky does not have early voting.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

To qualify to vote by mail-in absentee ballot, you must be one of the following:

  • Advanced in age, disabled or ill;
  • Military personnel, a dependent of military personnel, or an overseas citizen;
  • A student who temporarily resides outside the county;
  • A voter who changes his or her place of residence to a different state while the Registration books are closed in the new state of residence;
  • Temporarily residing outside of Kentucky and maintain eligibility to vote in Kentucky, such as a “snowbird;”
  • Incarcerated, but not yet convicted of a crime;
  • Employed outside of the county all hours the polling place is open;
  • A voter who is a program participant in the Secretary of State’s crime victim address confidentiality protection program.

In addition, voters falling into the categories above, and voters (and their spouses) who have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day, voters who temporarily reside outside the state, and voters who are pregnant and in their last trimester of pregnancy may submit an application in person to the county clerk to vote on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections.

In the case of medical emergencies within fourteen days or less of an election, a registered voter, or a member of his or her immediate or extended family, or a person he or she designates, may request and deliver an absentee ballot.

Rules and Deadlines:

  • For persons seeking an absentee ballot, they must submit an application by the close of business hours 7 days before the election. For this year’s General Election, that is Tuesday, November 1.
  • The absentee ballot must be received by the County Clerk’s office by 6 p.m. (local time) on Election Day. 

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Voters can vote without identification if an election officer can identify the voter by personal acquaintance.  Alternatively, voters can identify themselves by providing documentation. Valid forms of identification include:  

  • A motor vehicle operator’s license;
  • A Social Security Card;
  • Any identification card that has been issued by the County and which has been approved in writing by the State Board of Elections;
  • Any identification card with a picture and signature;
  • Any United States government-issued identification card;
  • Any Kentucky state government-issued identification card with picture; or
  • A credit card.

Without an eligible form of identification, a voter is permitted to cast a provisional ballot as a last recourse if a valid ID does not exist or cannot be obtained.  Voters who cast a provisional vote, or want to learn more about provisional votes, should visit the Provisional Voter Information webpage.

VoteRiders has created Kentucky voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Moving Within the Same Precinct

If you have a new address, and you move before the end of registration on October 11th, you should update your address at or with your county clerk. If you you move after October 11th and have a new address, you should go to the polling place for your new address and update your address there.

Moving within the Same County

If you have moved from one precinct to another within the same county, you can update the registration records and vote in the present election at the precinct designated for your new address upon affirmation of your new address and signing the precinct list.  You must also confirm your identity and submit an affidavit prior to being allowed to vote.

Moving Between Counties

If you have moved to a different county before the Registration books close on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, you must update your voter registration address with the new County Clerk or update your driver’s license in the new county at least 29 days before the election.  Otherwise you will not be eligible to vote at either your old or new address.

If you have moved to a different county after the Registration books close on October 11, you may vote at the appropriate precinct for your former residence in your former county.  However, you must register to vote in your new county of residence to vote in future elections.

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for absentee voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together these groups are called UOCAVA voters).

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot
UOCAVA voters can register to vote and request and absentee ballot by:

  • Using the Federal Post Card Application (FCPA).  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Kentucky-specific FPCA webpage for more information. To register to vote: the FPCA postcard must be postmarked by October 11, 2016.
  • Complete and submit the declaration accompanying a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which is obtainable online or by contacting the appropriate County Clerk, a United States Consulate or Embassy, or a Military Branch Voting Assistance Officer.  For more information, visit the Kentucky Military & Overseas Voting Services webpage. To request an absentee ballot: the County Clerk must receive the ballot request request at least 7 days before the election (November 1, 2016).
  • Following the absentee voting procedures available to all voters.

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may receive their blank absentee ballots by U.S. Mail or electronic transmission.  Ballots must be returned via U.S. Mail, commercial carrier, or by hand delivery.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters.  Eligible voters can use their FWAB whether they are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that they are away from their voting residence for service-related activities. To vote in an election: the FWAB must be received by the County Clerk no later than 6:00 p.m., local time, on Election Day. For specific instructions, visit the Kentucky-specific FWAB webpage.

Persons convicted of felony are not eligible to vote, unless their rights have been restored by an executive pardon from the Governor.


Top Issues to Field 

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

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Election Information for your state