Whether you choose to vote early (Oct. 21-Nov. 1) or on the Nov. 5 Election Day, voters can expect to be asked for a photo ID before being allowed to vote.

The new Texas Voter ID law requires voters to bring one of the seven acceptable photo IDs if they expect their ballot to be counted.

Grasie Alvarado, Tarrant County Elections Manager, said she does not expect this change to slow down the voting process. “The majority of voters used their driver’s license anyway, so most people won’t even notice a change.”

If you happen to forget one of these seven photo IDs, you will still be able to cast your vote by requesting a provisional ballot.

“By requesting a provisional ballot, the voter will still be allowed to cast their vote and if they do early voting, they will have six days to bring an acceptable photo ID to the Tarrant County Elections Center, then their ballot will be counted. We will also be open the Saturday after Nov. 5, allowing people who vote by provisional ballot on Election Day to bring proof of identification,” said Alvarado.

However, there are a few exceptions to this voter ID law. If the voter qualifies to vote by mail or has a documented disability, they can be exempt from having providing a photo ID.

Another new addition to the voting process is the creation of the Elections Identification Certificate (EIC).

This alternate form of photo ID is provided free of charge, by any Texas DPS office. Voters who do not have any of the acceptable photo IDs listed above are able to use an EIC.

To qualify for an EIC, the voter must bring documentation of U.S. citizenship, documentation to verify identity, their voter registration card, and be a Texas resident 17 years and 10 months or older.

An EIC expires in six years, but has no expiration date if the voter is 75 years or older. 

This new law will have the most impact on senior citizens, Alvarado said.

“Many of our senior citizens do not have a valid or an up-to-date photo ID card, so we sent out emails and letters explaining the new law to them and their options,” Alvarado said.

The two best options for senior citizens are either applying for an EIC or to vote by mail, Alvarado said.

The DPS has recently had four mobile sites, making it more accessible for voters to obtain an EIC free of charge.

Early voting for the Nov. 5 bond election is Oct. 21- Nov. 1 at the Southwest Regional Library. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 7.