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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
Excerpt: 

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
Excerpt: 

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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Wyoming Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election:  November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: Received by October 25, 2016.

Voters may also register and vote at their polling place on Election Day.

Wyoming does not offer online voter registration.

For more information, visit the Wyoming Secretary of State’s website

Election Day:

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Absentee voters may vote in person at the County Clerk’s office or by mail no sooner than 40 days before Election Day. Absentee ballots must be received by the county clerk no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

How to Find Your Polling Place: Visit the Wyoming Secretary of State’s polling place locator webpage to determine where you vote.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines: Voters seeking to register prior to the election must do so not less than 14 days prior to the date of election. For the 2016 Presidential Election, this deadline is October 25, 2016. Voters may also register at their polling place on Election Day. 

How to Check Your Registration: Contact your County Clerk’s office to verify if you are registered to vote or call 866-OUR-VOTE.

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

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day;
  • Be a resident of Wyoming;
  • Not currently be found mentally incompetent;
  • Not have been convicted of a felony, or if convicted had your voting rights restored;

Wyoming considers your residence to be the place where you have a current habitation and to which, whenever you are away, you have the intention of returning.

How to Register: Wyoming residents may register either at a county clerk’s office or by mail. Voter registration application forms and accompanying instruction can be found on the Secretary of State’s website

Identification Required for Registration

Preferred option

Second option if you don’t have valid Wyoming driver’s license

Third option: 2 of any of the following documents

Valid Wyoming driver’s license

Different state’s driver’s license; ID issued by a local, state or federal agency; U.S. passport; school ID; military ID

Certificate of US citizenship or naturalization; draft record; voter registration card from another state or county; original or certified copy of birth certificate bearing an official seal; certificate of birth abroad issued by U.S. State Department; any other form of ID issued by an official agency

Wyoming makes no distinction between absentee voting and early voting. Voters who wish to vote early may do so by absentee voting in person at their Clerk of Court’s office. For more information on absentee voting, visit the Secretary of State’s absentee voting information page.

Rules and Deadlines:

  • Voters may apply for absentee ballots any time during the calendar year in which the election is held, but not on Election Day.
  • An absentee ballot must be received by the County Clerk no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

If you previously registered in person, or registered by mail and have voted before in a Wyoming federal election, you are not required to show ID at the polls. If you registered by mail and are voting in your first federal election, you must provide a current, valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document showing their name and address.

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

Moving within the Same County

If you have changed addresses since registering to vote and your new address is within the same county, you should update your voter information with your county clerk’s office prior to the election. If you have not done so, you will be required to update your information at your polling place before voting.

Moving Between Counties

If you have moved addresses and your new address is in a different county, you will need to re-register at your polling place before voting.

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 use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Military/Overseas Citizens Voting webpage.

The Wyoming Voter Registration Form may also be used to register and will allow the voter to remain a permanent registered voter in Wyoming.

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

No formal absentee ballot request form is required for citizens who are registered voters in Wyoming. If you are unsure if you are still a registered voter in Wyoming, please contact your County Clerk. A voter may request an absentee ballot by contacting the County Clerk by phone, email, fax or mail. An Absentee Ballot Request Form has been created by the state if anyone wishes to use it. The form may be completed and emailed to the county clerk of the appropriate county.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters.  You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities.  You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least 14 days before the election.  If you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB.  Your FWAB must be received by your local voting officials in Wyoming no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.  For specific instructions, visit the FVAP’s Wyoming-specific FVAP page

Wyoming residents with a felony conviction are not eligible to vote unless they have had their civil or voting rights restored. The Department of Corrections will restore voting rights to a non-violent felon if that person has not been convicted of any other felonies (other than convictions arising out of the same occurrence), has completed all of their sentence (including probation or parole), and it has been at least 5 years since the expiration of all terms of sentence or probation periods. Voting rights may also be restored at the discretion of the governor following a written application provided that the applicant’s term of sentence or probation has been completed. More information on voting rights restoration can be found on the Wyoming Secretary of State’s website.

FAQ

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