Early voting in Harris County: What you need to know

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Monday, October 24, 2016
Early voting gets underway in Harris Co.
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Early voting has officially begun in Harris County, and officials expect hundreds of thousands to cast their votes before Election Day.

HARRIS COUNTY, TX (KTRK) -- Early voting starts today. Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart expects record voter turnout, with 1.4 million people voting in Harris County.

WHEN AND WHERE: Harris County early voting locations and schedule (PDF)

Through Friday, polls are open from 8am to 6pm. On Saturday, polling places are open from 7am to 7pm and on Sunday from 1pm to 6pm.

VIDEO: Early voting locations open in Harris Co.

Then the following week, October 31st through November 4th, polling places are open from 7am to 7pm.

What do I need to bring to the polls?

Voters must bring a photo ID in order to vote. An interim federal court order requires voters to present one of eight valid photo IDs.

You can bring any of these to the polls to vote:

  • A Texas drivers license issued by DPS
  • A Texas personal ID card issued by DPS
  • A Texas election identification certificate, issued by DPS
  • A U.S. military ID card, current or expired 2012 or later
  • A Texas handgun license, issued by DPS
  • A U.S. passport, current or expired 2012 or later
  • A U.S. citizenship certificate with photograph

If you do not have one of the seven accepted forms of identification you can fill out a declaration at the polls explaining why and bring one of the following documents:

Certified Birth Certificate

Copy of or original Bank Statement

Copy or original of government check or paycheck

Copy or original current utility bill

Copy or original government document with your name and an address

In addition to the highly-contested presidential race, there are many other local races including: the race for sheriff, district attorney and state representative races to name a few.

What races are on the ballot this year?

It's more than just a presidential election in Texas. In fact, Harris County voters will see one of the longest ballots in the nation as in years past.

You can see a sample Harris County ballot or view your specific Election Day ballot based on location on HarrisVotes.org.

Stanart has some recommendations before you head to the polls.

He says you should print out your specific sample ballot ahead of time so you know which races are on your ballot. Your sample ballot should be about two pages long, that's compared to the sample ballot you will see at your polling site, which will include all the races in the county and is eight pages long.

"It's important that you participate, that you study these candidates. Don't take them on the surface of what they're saying go study the issue and have a great election," said Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart.

Stanart also recommends you vote early in the early voting process and not wait until the last two day so of early voting. He expects 800,000 people to vote early and says about 100,000 of those voters will vote on the last two days, making polling places crowded.

Also, some people have had concerns over voter fraud and security. Stanart says it's something Harris County takes very seriously.

"The judges, when they get here in the morning, they will print out a zero tape. Showing there are no votes on the machines. The machines talk to each other and verify the security of themselves. There's self-testing that goes on that they verify that there's been no tampering," said Stanart.

Am I registered to vote?

While the deadline has now passed to register to vote, you can find out whether you are registered and who your elected officials are on the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector's website.

Click here to search for your voter registration in Harris County