What to know as Texas voters head to polls to cast ballot on state propositions and more

KTRK logo
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
What to know as Texas voters head to polls to cast ballot on state propositions and more
Voting is underway through 7 p.m. as people head to the polls to cast ballots on state propositions that would amend the Texas Constitution and more.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- While many eyes are on Houston's tight mayoral race, there are other reasons voters will be heading to the polls Tuesday.

If you're one of the people who plans to cast a ballot, polls opened at 7 a.m. and closed at 7 p.m.

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to voting and Election Day.

ABC13 has live reports from campaign watch parties and up-to-the-minute results. You can now watch wherever you stream ABC13.

Know if you're registered to vote

Check your voter status on VoteTexas.org.

You have to be registered 30 days before Election Day in order to vote. This year, that deadline was Oct. 10.

The mayor's race isn't on my ballot, but the state propositions are. What should I know?

Every Texas ballot this election features 14 numbered propositions, all of which would permanently alter the state's Constitution.

They deal with everything from water infrastructure and farming to property taxes and the mandatory retirement age for state judges.

ABC13 divided them into four categories to make them easier to understand.

  • Fund-related props
  • Props that relate to taxes
  • Political propositions
  • Single-county issues

READ MORE: 14 Texas ballot propositions divided into 4 categories ahead of Election Day

ABC13's Tom Abrahams digs into the proposed constitutional amendments and why Houston voters will have an outsized role in deciding whether they pass.

Don't forget your photo ID or alternative ID allowed by law

There are seven different types of photo identification you can show.

  • Texas driver license
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas election identification certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas handgun license issued by DPS
  • U.S. military ID card with photograph
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. citizenship certificate containing your photo

Don't have a photo ID? You can still cast your votes if you sign a form swearing that you have a "reasonable impediment" from obtaining a proper photo ID. Voters must also have one of the following:

  • A valid voter registration certificate
  • A certified birth certificate
  • A document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
  • A copy of or an original current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other documents that shows the voter's name and address. (Any government document that contains a voter's photo must be an original.)

Know where to go

Registered and eligible voters may vote at ANY polling location located in the county of residence for most of the state of Texas. Whether you are at home, work, or out running errands, you will be able to find a polling place near you.

For more information on your county's guidelines and polling locations near you, visit VoteTexas' "Where to Vote" page.

Along with your voter card, you can take written or printed material with you when you vote

However, if you have notes on an electronic device (cell phones, tablets), you won't be able to access them.

If you have special needs, you can be assisted by anyone you choose as you vote

You do not need to give a medical explanation or proof of illness or disability.

No time limit

You can take as long as you want when you vote. The ballot does not time out or expire.

Know your ballot

You can view a sample ballot with contests and candidates.

You can mark your preferences, print the ballot, and take it with you. Just make sure no one else can see it.

For example, this is a sample ballot for Harris County. This is a sample ballot for Fort Bend County.

When is the deadline to vote by mail?

Mail-in ballots must be filled out and received by Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. if the carrier envelope is not postmarked. If the carrier envelope is postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day, it must be received by 5 p.m. the next business day after the election, Nov. 8.

Unique polling places

You can find the nearest polling place to you in Harris County by going to harrisvotes.com, clicking on "vote centers" and then typing in your address. There are 701 polling locations on that list.

Schools, community centers, and churches are all still on the list of places you can go to vote, but so is the castle, Rolling Fork Castle Club, built in the late 1970s, on the northwest side of town.

Raindrop House on West Bellfort is another architectural option. It's home to the Raindrop Foundation that aims to bridge Turkish and American cultures. The building is modeled, in part, after the Taj Mahal. A pro tip from our partners at the Houston Chronicle? Don't miss the Turkish artifacts in the lobby.

Lone Star Flight Museum, NRG Arena, Cypress-Fairbanks funeral home, and Arabia Shriners all made the cut this year for places where you can cast your ballot.

Westfield Volunteer Fire Station 2 on Bentley Street is another location. It's the smallest fire station, and as noted by the Chronicle, firefighters have to move their trucks to the street or lot to open the three bays for polls.

WATCH MAYORAL DEBATE: 4 frontrunning candidates vying for Houston mayor finish final debate a week before Election Day

Four of Houston's top mayoral candidates debated for the final time about critical issues facing voters, such as crime, housing, and the economy.

SEE ALSO: Election judges prepare for voting process for midterm elections amid changes

With Election Day right around the corner, election judges in Harris County started the process of picking up equipment to run their respective polling centers.