Heading to the polls? Here's what you need to know

Whether you're a first-time voter or you've taken trips to the polls several times, there are a few things to remember that can help make the experience a smooth one.

1. Know if you're registered to vote.

This might sound obvious, but Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart recommends checking the Harris Votes website to verify registration. Not in Harris County? You can also check here.

You have to be registered 30 days before Election Day in order to vote.

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

There are seven different types of photo identification you can show. If you don't have one, you can apply for an Election Identification Certificate.

3. Know your precinct number.

This number is located on your yellow and white voter card. It helps you find your correct polling place.

You can confirm the precinct number by calling the Voter Registrar at 713-368-VOTE.

4. 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.

According to the League of Women Voters, you cannot share campaign material, either.

5. 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.

6. You can vote by mail

You'll just need to meet certain qualifications including being at least 65-years-old, disabled, in jail but eligible otherwise or you'll be out of the county on Election Day.
Find the application for a ballot by mail here.

7. No time limit

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

8. 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.


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