Information Guide to Voting: Important information regarding your voter registration information and voting rights...
Voter registration services provided on behalf of the Texas Secretary of State
Did you know that Texas was the first State to vote from space! Now that I have your attention, the Tax Assessor/Collector serves as Voter Registrar for the County. GCTO’s Voter Registration Department is located on the first floor of the Galveston Branch. Applications are available at each office as well as online at the Secretary of State's website and by clicking on the Voter Registration Information link at left.
In addition to providing voter registration services, we support all elections held in Galveston County through the provision of poll books and telephone support for voters and election workers. In addition, Volunteer Deputy Registrar training and programs on voter registration, voter participation, and citizenship are available upon request.
Who is Eligible to Vote in Texas
If you are eligible to register to vote in Texas, you must complete an application and mail or turn it in to the proper authorities (a county registered volunteer deputy registrar or any employee of the Galveston County Tax Office). The application must be completely filled out (see marked up sample below). FAILURE TO FULLY COMPLETE THE APPLICATION may result in delays that could impact your right to vote!
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
1. A United States citizen
2. A resident of the County where you submit the application
3. At least 18 years old on Election day
4. Not be a convicted felon (completed sentence, probation and parole) and you have not been declared by a court with probate jurisdiction to be totally or partially mentally incapacitated
* You may be eligible if you have completed your sentence, probation and parole
Voter ID in Texas
In 2011, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 14. This bill created new requirements for voters to show a photo identification (ID) in order to vote. Legal battles may impact the implementation of Texas’ Voter ID law but as of this date, it is in full effect.
With the exception of US citizenship certificate (Item F below), ID must be current or not have expired more than 60 days before being presented at a polling location. Acceptable forms of ID include:
A. Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
(www.dps.texas.gov or call 1-512-424-2600 for additional information)
B. Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
C. Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
D. Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
E. United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
F. United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
G. United States passport
Allow adequate time when voting as election officials must determine whether the name on the ID matches the name on the official list of registered voters. If it does, you may proceed to vote. If the names are found to be “substantially similar” the voter will be permitted to vote after signing an affidavit stating the voter is the same person.
Those without proper ID will be required to vote provisionally. PROPER ID MUST BE
PROVIDED TO THE VOTER REGISTRAR WITHIN SIX (6) DAYS or the provisional ballot will be rejected.
Exceptions to Voter ID Requirement
A permanent exemption will be granted for voters with a disability rating of at least 50% as evidenced by documentation from either the Social Security Administration or Department of Veterans Affairs. It must also be affirmed that the applicant has no valid form of photo
identification. Qualifying voters will be provided a voter registration certificate reflecting the exemption. Please contact the Voter Registration Department at 1-409-766-2280 or (toll free) 1-888-976-2280.
Those without a valid form of photo ID as the result of certain natural disasters as declared by the President of the United States or the Texas Governor, may vote a provisional ballot and MUST APPEAR AT THE VOTER REGISTRAR’S OFFICE within six (6) days after election day and affirm to the disaster.
Those objecting to being photographed for religious reasons may vote a provisional ballot and MUST ALSO APPEAR AT THE VOTER REGISTRAR’S OFFICE within six (6) calendar days after election day and sign an affidavit swearing to the religious objection.
Voter ID provisions do NOT apply to voting by mail. There is NO requirement for the voter’s ID address to match the voter roll.
If You Move—Update your Information With Us!
A change of address form does NOT update your voter records when you move. You will continue to be registered to vote in the last county where you were registered. If you moved from one county to another, notify us in writing by completing a new application or at the DPS office when changing your license.
Some corrections may be made to your voter certificate by noting changes on the back of the certificate and returning it to us and if you move within the county, you may update your information at the SOS website.
Your voter certificate will be mailed within 30 days from the date the application or change is received, unless an election is underway. All applications received by an election deadline are processed and others held until all election activities have ceased. This could cause a delay in receipt of your voter certificate.
Call the Voter Registration Department at 1-409-766-2280 or toll free at 1-888-976-2280. You may find additional information online at the Secretary of State website (www.sos.state.tx.us), by calling 1-800-252-VOTE (8683) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below you will find an online application. Please print both pages, complete it, fold and mail, postage paid, in accordance with the instructions below.
Registering to vote is the first step. Voting in each and every election is the next and most important step of all! Voice your opinion at the polls - vote!
Downloadable Request for Confidentiality Form
Volunteer Deputy Registrars:
Volunteer Deputy Registrars (VDR) are partners with County Voter Registrars, assisting citizens in registering to vote and educating them on the importance of voting. A high level of ethical conduct is required to be a VDR as you are responsible for protecting applicants’ right to vote.
The Election Code requires VDRs to be at least 18 years of age, to not have been finally convicted of a felony or, if so, must have fully discharged the sentence, not have been finally convicted of an offense under Section 32.51 of the Penal Code (identity theft) and meet the requirements to be a qualified voter under Section 11.002 (although not required to be a registered voter). VDR terms begin after training and end December 31st of even numbered years.
You are required by Texas law to complete in person training (in Galveston or another County). This training is held the third Friday of each month at 2:00 pm in the Commissioners Courtroom, Galveston County Courthouse, 722 Moody in Galveston. Renewing VDRs are now permitted to “re-up” via the online application and training program. (Click here to proceed to the Online Application and Training Program).
Upon completion of training, you will receive a VDR handbook, Certificate of Appointment, VDR name button, identification card, voter applications, registration supplies and the authority to distribute and receive voter applications within Galveston County. Please refer to the VDR Handbook for additional information.
PLEASE NOTE: The Texas Election Code provides that unintentional failure to deliver a completed application is a Class C misdemeanor. Intentional failure to deliver a completed application is a Class A misdemeanor. Acting as a Volunteer Deputy Registrar without an official appointment is a Class C misdemeanor.
Cheryl E. Johnson, RTA
Galveston County Tax Assessor Collector