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Early Voting Begins Today for Upcoming Texas Primaries

PHOTO: Texas residents are being reminded that a photo ID is required to cast a ballot as early voting for the March primaries begins today. Photo credit: Nicole Klauss
PHOTO: Texas residents are being reminded that a photo ID is required to cast a ballot as early voting for the March primaries begins today. Photo credit: Nicole Klauss
February 18, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas - Early voting for the state's upcoming primaries begins today. Voters are reminded that a current photo ID is needed to cast a ballot. This will be just the second election with the ID requirement.

Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry said seven types of identification are allowed.

"Either a Texas drivers license, a Texas personal ID, a concealed handgun license, a U.S. passport, a U.S. citizenship certificate or a U.S. Military ID. If a voter doesn't have any of those, they can always go to their local DPS and get an election identification certificate," Berry said.

Early voting is available through Feb. 28 for the primaries to be held on March 4. Along with various local decisions on candidates, primary voters also will decide who will be on the ballot statewide this fall in the races for governor and U.S. senator.

Another detail important for would-be voters to know, Berry said, is that the name on the photo ID must be "substantially similar" to the name on the registration rolls. This can present a problem for some - with marriage and divorce and other name variations - but there is an option.

"If a person gets to the polls and realizes that they forgot their ID at home, or if the name doesn't quite match, they can always vote a provisional ballot, and then they have six days to go back and show their photo ID," she explained.

Berry also noted that those who are 65 years or older, or have a disability, can vote by mail if they get their application in by Friday. Answers to questions on early voting, the ID requirement or polling locations are online at www.VoteTexas.gov.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - TX