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Harvey evacuees have options as voter registration deadline approaches

Posted: Updated:

Oct. 9 is the last day to register for the Nov. 6 election

AUSTIN, Texas — Hurricane Harvey forced tens of thousands of Texans out of their homes, and more than a year later, many still have not returned. But that won’t prevent you from voting in the Nov. 6 election.

If you have relocated, permanently or temporarily, or if your identification is inaccessible or lost, a solution can be found at www.VoteTexas.gov/harvey. To access the information in Spanish, visit www.VoteTexas.gov/es/harvey.  

“We understand many Texans are still recovering from the devastation brought by Hurricane Harvey last year, and we want to do everything we can to ensure that impacted Texas voters have unhindered access to the ballot box,” Texas Secretary of State Rolando B. Pablos said. “At a time when many Texans are facing difficult challenges, we want to make sure that all eligible Texas voters have the resources and information they need to register and cast a ballot in the upcoming General Election.”

The first step in voting is getting registered. If you are not registered to vote, you must submit your application by Tuesday, Oct. 9, or have it postmarked by that date. Texans who submit applications after Oct. 9 will not be eligible to vote early from Oct. 22 through Nov. 2, or vote in person on Nov. 6, when the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  

According to www.VoteTexas.gov, “the voter is the one who decides what the voter considers to be home.” Therefore, your address could be a home from which you were forced to evacuate (if you plan to return), one in which you currently live (including a shelter, if you consider it to be home), or one where you plan to live soon (as long as you have been there before).

If you no longer consider your pre-Harvey address to be your home, you need to register at your new address by Oct. 9. You can check your registration status at https://go.usa.gov/xPDAD. If your new residence is in the same county as your pre-Harvey address, you can update your information at https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/sos/SOSACManager. If your new address is in a different county, you will need to complete, print and submit a new voter registration application to the county voter registrar in your new county of residence. A digital voter registration application can be found here: www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/vr-with-receipt.pdf.    

If you still consider your pre-Harvey residence to be your home, you have voting options:

  1. If you are registered in a county that participates in the Countywide Polling Place Program (CWPP), you can vote at any location in your county of registration on Election Day, Nov. 6.
    • A list of counties that participate in the CWPP can be found here: .
  2. If you are registered in a county that does not participate in the CWPP, and you can make it to your home precinct to cast a ballot on Election Day, Nov. 6, you can vote as you normally would.
  3. If you can make it to an early voting location anywhere in your county of registration between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2, you can cast a ballot then.

To vote by mail, your application for a ballot by mail must be received by your county election office no later than Oct. 26. Find your county’s contact information at https://go.usa.gov/xPWbJ. If you are temporarily outside the United States, you can apply for a ballot by mail by completing the Federal Postcard Application on the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, www.fvap.gov.   

Texans who plan to vote in person on Election Day should be aware that some counties may move polling places from their previous locations. To confirm your polling location, visit your county’s website or https://go.usa.gov/xPDAD.   

To vote early by visiting a location in your county (which does not need to be in your home precinct) contact your county’s early-voting clerk or visit https://go.usa.gov/xPDAD to find locations. A list of county contact information is available at https://go.usa.gov/xPWbJ.  

If your identification was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, or if you are unable to access your ID because of Harvey, you still can vote by following one of the procedures outlined at www.VoteTexas.gov/register-to-vote/need-id.html.  

If you have additional questions, find your county’s website from the list at https://go.usa.gov/xPWjW, visit www.VoteTexas.gov or contact the Office of the Texas Secretary of State by calling 1-800-252-VOTE (8683) or emailing elections@sos.texas.gov.

For additional information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4332, Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMAharvey, the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at www.twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at https://www.dps.texas.gov/dem/.

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