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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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Florida Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

Hurricane Matthew FAQs

2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: Due to Hurricane Matthew the deadline has been extended to October 18, 2016 at 5 PM, postmarked.


Election Day:

The polls open at 7:00 a.m. on Election Day, November 8, 2016, and shall be kept open until 7:00 p.m. Any voter who is in line at the time of the official closing of the polls shall be allowed to cast a vote in the election.

Florida does have Early Voting, which is described in detail below. 

How to Find Your Polling Place:

Use https://registration.elections.myflorida.com/CheckVoterStatus or call 866-OUR-VOTE.


Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.

Registration Deadlines:

Following a recent decision in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the voter registration deadline has been extended to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, postmarked. Florida does not have Same Day Registration.

How to Check Your Registration: Use https://registration.elections.myflorida.com/CheckVoterStatus or call 866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility:

A person may become a registered voter only if that person:

  1. Is at least 18 years of age;
  2. Is a citizen of the United States;
  3. Is a legal resident of the State of Florida;
  4. Is a legal resident of the county in which that person seeks to be registered; and
  5. Registers pursuant to the Florida Election Code.

How to Register:

Florida voters can apply to register to vote in any of the following ways: 

In Person

  • Request or pick-up a Florida Voter Registration Application from their county Supervisor of Elections. Complete, sign and mail the application to the office of their County Supervisor of Elections.
  • Apply through any Florida driver’s license office or tax collector’s office that issues driver’s licenses or Florida identification cards. 
  • Apply through any “voter registration agency.” These agencies include:
    • Any office that provides public assistance (e.g., Department of Children and Families’ Food Assistance Program and the Temporary Cash Assistance Program and Department of Health’s WIC Program);
    • Any office that primarily serves persons with disabilities (e.g., Department of Education’s Division of Blind Services and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, any center for independent living, any office within an educational institute that serves persons with disabilities);
    • Any military recruitment office (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, Marines); or
    • Any public library.

By Mail

  • Fill in the online Voter Registration Application (English PDF / Español PDF) on the Division of Elections’ website. Print, sign, and mail the application to the office of your County Supervisor of Elections.
  • Obtain a Florida Voter Registration Application form from any entity authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to issue permits for fishing, hunting or trapping. Complete, sign, and mail the application to your county Supervisor of Elections.


Florida does not have online voter registration.

For more information:  http://dos.myflorida.com/elections/for-voters/voter-registration/register-to-vote-or-update-your-information/

If You Want to Vote Early

Registered voters may go in person to an early voting site and vote ahead of Election Day. Early voting begins on the 10th day before a state or federal election, ends on the 3rd day before the election, and must be provided for no less than 8 hours and no more than 12 hours per day at each site. Check the voter’s Supervisor of Elections website for the early voting locations and hours in their county—note that these may change for each election.

 Voters who want to vote early should present the following at the early voting site:

  • a valid photo identification; and
  • a signature identification.

Voters can vote at any early voting site within the county when the site is open.

If You Want to Vote Absentee aka By Mail

As of July 1, 2016, the term “Absentee Ballot” has changed to “Vote-by-Mail Ballot.”

A request for a vote-by-mail ballot may be made in one of the following ways:

  • Online application on your county Supervisors of Elections’ website;
  • In writing (e.g., by email, fax, mail) to the county Supervisor of Elections;
  • In person at Supervisor of Elections; or
  • By telephone call to Supervisor of Elections.

If you are making the request, the following information is required:

  • The name of the voter for whom the ballot is being requested;
  • The voter’s address;
  • The voter’s date of birth; and
  • The voter’s signature (if the request is written).

If an immediate family member or legal guardian is requesting a vote-by-mail ballot for you, the following additional information must be provided:

  • The requestor’s address;
  • The requestor’s driver’s license number (if available);
  • The requestor’s relationship to the voter; and
  • The requestor’s signature (if the request is written).

The deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed is no later than 5 p.m. on the 6th day before the election (request received). Otherwise, a vote-by-mail ballot can be picked-up until and including on Election Day.

Instructions for completing the vote-by-mail ballot are included with the ballot. The voted ballot must be returned and received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day. Other return options are available for Military and Overseas Voters.

For more information visit http://dos.myflorida.com/elections/for-voters/voting/vote-by-mail/.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

To vote a regular ballot, the Florida clerk or inspector requires each elector, upon entering the polling place, to present one of the following current and valid picture identifications:

  • Florida driver license;
  • Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles;
  • United States passport;
  • Debit or credit card;
  • Military identification;
  • Student identification;
  • Retirement center identification;
  • Neighborhood association identification;
  • Public assistance identification;
  • Public assistance identification;
  • Veteran health identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs;
  • A license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm; or
  • Employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality.

Note: If the picture identification does not contain the signature of the voter, an additional identification that provides the voter’s signature shall be required.

If the voter fails to furnish the required identification, the voter shall be allowed to vote a provisional ballot. 

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

Moving within the Same County

The voter may cast a regular ballot at his or her NEW polling place after completing an address change verification form. This may be done at the NEW polling place.

Moving Between Counties

If the voter’s NEW county uses an electronic poll book, or if the voter is an active uniformed services voter (or member of a servicemember’s family), the voter may cast a regular ballot at his or her NEW polling place after completing an address change verification at the NEW polling place. In all other circumstances, the voter must vote a provisional ballot at the correct precinct in their NEW county.  A voter should NOT be directed to the polling place for their previous residence address. 

Registering and Requesting a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

Military or overseas voters may register to vote and request a vote-by-mail ballot at the same time by using a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). (https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fpca2013.pdf). Military or overseas voters may obtain the FPCA from any Voting Assistance Officer or from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website. (https://www.fvap.gov/)

Military or overseas voters may also call or request by mail, fax, or email to their county Supervisor of Elections that a voter registration application or a vote-by-mail ballot be sent to them. Unless the Military or overseas voter designates otherwise, his or her request for vote-by-mail ballot is valid for all elections through the end of the calendar year for the second ensuing regularly scheduled general election.

Supervisors of Elections must mail vote-by-mail ballots to military and overseas citizens no later than 45 days before each election. Military or overseas voters may track their vote-by-mail ballot request and ballot online by using either the Division of Elections’ Check your Voter Status webpage (http://registration.elections.myflorida.com/CheckVoterStatus) or through their County Supervisor of Elections website. (http://dos.elections.myflorida.com/supervisors/)

Vote-by-mail ballots cast by uniformed and overseas voters during a general election must be postmarked or dated no later than Election Day and received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 10 days after Election Day.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

If you are an absent stateside or overseas uniformed services personnel or spouse or dependent absent because of the uniformed services personnel or an overseas U.S. citizen, you can use the emergency back-up ballot known as the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).  It can be used to vote in any election for federal office and any state or local election. FWAB ballots and directions can be found at https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fwab2013.pdf.

A person who was convicted of a felony cannot register or vote in Florida unless he or she has had his or her right to vote restored. The voter may check to see if their civil rights have been restored on the website of the Office of Executive Clemency: https://fpcweb.fpc.state.fl.us/.


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