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Days are Numbered for Early Voting in Texas

A record number of Texans are registered to vote in the Nov. 6 election. (DodgertonSkillhause/Flickr)

by Mary Kuhlman

AUSTIN, Texas – The midterm election is about a week away, and Texans who want to avoid the polls on November 6 have just five days to vote early.

On Election Day, voters can only cast a ballot at their assigned precinct. However, they can cast a ballot at any early-voting location in their county of residence through this Friday, November 2. As a voter-engagement volunteer with AARP Texas, John Vasquez said he recommends not waiting until the last minute.

“If you will plan your time when you cast your ballot, you can save yourself some effort,” Vasquez said. “Based on prior history, Friday is probably going to be a very busy day for early voting. So the sooner you can get out there and get it done, you’re going to have shorter lines at the early-polling places. “

Vasquez said there’s a lot at stake this election, including the positions of governor, attorney general and state Supreme Court, as well as all of Texas’ seats in the U.S. House and one U.S. Senate race. Voters also will decide on candidates and issues at the local level, including races for city council, county commissioner and local school boards.

When voting in person, Vasquez reminded Texans they must have photo ID, such as a driver’s license, state identification card or a passport. But he noted those without such identification won’t be shut out of the process.

“If for some reason you couldn’t get it, then you can also bring other documents that can identify you,” he said. “But you’ll have to sign an affidavit and declare that you have a reasonable impediment from being able to get identification to be able to support your ballot.”

Vasquez said your vote is your voice, and noted that people elected to office this year will be faced with important decisions that will impact people of all ages, including the future of Social Security, Medicare and other programs.

“If you do not cast a ballot, you have no voice. And whoever gets elected, that’s the choice of somebody else,” Vasquez said. “So it’s really, really important for voters to cast their ballot and be part of our great American democracy.”

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, there are a record number of registered voters for this election, nearly 15.8 million people, a 4 percent increase from the May primary. More voter information is available at AARP.org/vote.

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