Voter Resource Guide 2020

In the U.S., there are more than 76 million young people between the ages of 18 and 35, and our numbers are growing. With that growth comes strength in numbers and — most importantly — political power. Our attention, activism, and our votes (ESPECIALLY our votes) will shape the future for decades to come.

This resource guide gives people in Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas background information to plan how they will cast their vote. The most recent updates to voter information within this guide are in red.

ALABAMA

Among the six statewide ballot measures that will appear on the November 3 ballot, one impacts voters who are non-US citizens (but who are permitted to vote in some US municipalities) or those who hold dual citizenship:

Citizenship Requirement for Voting Measure

  • Amendment 1 would amend the Alabama Constitution to state that “only a citizen of the United States,” rather than “every citizen of the United States,” who is 18 years old or older has the right to vote in Alabama.

There is also a “stand your ground” amendment on the ballot in Franklin and Lauderdale County:

Stand Your Ground” Rights in Lauderdale County Churches Measure

  • Amend the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to provide that a person is not liable for using deadly physical force in self-defense or in the defense of another person on the premises of a church under certain conditions.
  • According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), voting “yes” on these amendments would extend “stand your ground” laws to church grounds in Franklin County (on Amendment 5) and in Lauderdale County (on Amendment 6) .

To learn more about what’s on the upcoming ballot in Alabama, please visit the Alabama ballotpedia page.

Once you’re registered to vote, all you need to bring to your assigned polling place is a valid, up-to-date photo ID on November 3. Alabama does not permit in-person early voting, but you may request an absentee ballot if you are unable to vote in-person on Election Day. You can find your assigned polling place here.

Acceptable Forms of Identification in Alabama:

  • Alabama Driver’s License (not expired or has been expired for less than 60 days)
  • Alabama Non-driver ID (not expired or has been expired for less than 60 days)
  • Alabama Photo Voter ID Card
  • Get a free Voter ID Card at one of these locations here or find out more information here.
  • Free Voter ID Card Application Form
  • State-Issued ID (from Alabama or any other state)
  • Alabama Dept. of Corrections Release Temporary ID (Photo required)
  • Alabama Movement/Booking Sheet from Prison/Jail System (Photo required)
  • Pistol Permit (Photo required)
  • Driver’s License Issued by Another State
  • Federal-Issued ID
  • US Passport
  • Employee ID from Federal Government, State of Alabama, Alabama County, Alabama Municipality, Alabama Board, or other entity of this state
  • Student ID from a Public or Private University in the state of Alabama or a state institution of higher learning in any other state
  • Employee ID from a Public or Private University in Alabama or a state college or university in any other state
  • Military ID
  • Tribal ID

If you do not have a valid Photo ID when you go to your assigned polling place:

  • If you can be positively identified by 2 election officials, the officials can state this in a sworn affidavit so that you can cast a regular ballot.
  • You may cast a provisional ballot. After casting your provisional ballot, you will have until 5pm on the Friday after the election to submit a valid photo ID. Otherwise, the ballot will not be counted. You can check the status of your provisional ballot here.
  • For more information on voting requirements, email the Alabama Secretary of State Election Division at alavoter@vote.alabama.gov or call toll free at 1-800-274-8683. More information can be found online in the Alabama Photo Voter ID Guide.

If you will be unable to vote in person on Election Day, you can request an absentee ballot by mail or by visiting your local election office. Click here to fill out your Alabama absentee ballot application.

If you choose to vote via absentee ballot, remember to:

  • Review the absentee ballot application and confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements for voting absentee
  • Fill out the application completely
  • Submit the absentee ballot application to your local Board of Registrars by Thursday, October 29. However, given the high probability of postal service delays, you should request your ballot as soon as possible because if you submit an application after October 18, you might not have enough time to receive it and for it to be mailed back in time.
  • When your ballot arrives, carefully follow the instructions to complete and return it.
  • As of October 8th, some counties have reported high rates of ballot applications being sent back to voters as a result of them being filled out incorrectly/incompletely. Make sure to double check the instructions as you fill out your ballot!

Provisional ballots are for voters whose credentials are in question on Election Day. The ballot will be counted after election officials determine that the voter is eligible. It is your right to ask for a provisional ballot. If for any reason a poll worker says you can’t fill out a ballot, they must give you a provisional ballot if you request one.

If you do not have an acceptable proof of identity at the time of voting, you must go to your county’s BOE within the next 7 days and provide them with proof of identity such as:

  • A valid Alabama Driver’s License
  • A valid Alabama Nondriver ID
  • A valid Alabama Photo Voter ID Card
  • A valid State issued ID (Alabama or any other state)
  • A valid Federal issued ID
  • A valid US Passport
  • A valid Employee ID from the Federal Government, State of Alabama, County Municipality, Board, Authority, or other entity of this state
  • A valid Student or Employee ID from a college or university in Alabama
  • A valid Student or Employee ID from a state college or university in any other state
  • A valid Military ID
  • A valid Tribal ID

Please note that the address with which you registered to vote with MUST match the address on your photo ID. Visit here for more information on provisional ballots in Alabama.

USPS Capacity Issues and Delays

  • Alabama is among 46 states that received a warning from the U.S. Postal Service officials that the state’s mail-voting laws may result in votes arriving too late to be counted
  • Thomas J. Marshall, the USPS general counsel and executive vice president, notes that Alabama’s deadline for requesting an absentee ballot falls too close to Election Day to guarantee it will be mailed in time. It is recommended that voters request a ballot application at least 15 days before Election Day, and recommends mailing completed ballots back to the county BOE at least one week before Election Day

Voter Purging

Scheduling Problems

  • Low-wage and hourly workers often have inflexible schedules that prevent them from making it to the polls during the polling location’s hours of operation. Additionally, Alabama does not require that workers be compensated for the time they take to vote.
  • Given that Alabama does not offer early in-person voting, please request your absentee ballot as soon as possible if you’re unable to get to the polls.

Closed Polling Locations

  • In 2016, Alabama had at least 66 fewer polling places than it did in 2013
  • Daphne, a city near Mobile, eliminated three of its five polling locations in 2016, disproportionately impacting Black voters

Voting Rights for Formerly Incarcerated People Not Publicized

  • In 2017, Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation re-enfranchising approximately 60,000 of people with felony records
  • However, state resources did not publicize this or automatically register people to vote who had been turned away before the law was passed
  • If you have a felony conviction in Alabama or another state, visit Restore Your Vote for help in registering to vote

Disqualified Absentee Ballots Not Tracked

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told Alabama Daily News the state does not track how many absentee ballots are ultimately disqualified because of mistakes made while returning them and it is impossible to know how many have been rejected in recent past elections.

Once the application is approved, voters will then be sent a final ballot. In order to turn in the ballot successfully, it has to be signed by the voter and either by a notary public or two witnesses above the age of 18. A copy of the voter’s photo ID is not needed to turn in the final ballot.

Reasons for why an application or the final ballot may get rejected could be not having the appropriate witness signatures or notary signature, failing to mark the affidavit properly, not sealing the affidavit in the secrecy envelope, or if someone other than the voter or emergency designee returns the ballot to the absentee election manager’s office.

This year, 16-, 17- and 18-year-old students will be able to work as election poll-worker interns thanks to a law passed by the Alabama legislature in 2019. They will be able to do everything a regular poll worker can do except handle a ballot or determine voter eligibility.

Alabama has nearly 1,980 voting places statewide and preparing for Election Day is a major undertaking. Counties have been urged to have 150 trained volunteers if voting actually requires 100 workers.

Rock The Vote has a page dedicated to the Alabama voting cycle and how it impacts students, people with disabilities, and people with felony convictions

Alabama Secretary of State Webpage with voting links and information on COVID and absentee voting

People’s Budget Birmingham is a community organization pushing for participatory budgeting in the city of Birmingham, so citizens may provide input and suggestions towards the city’s public budget. Their main goals align with defunding, or reducing funding, for BPD and allocating money towards social programs to help Birmingham’s citizens. They have a strong Instagram presence which posts helpful graphs and budget breakdowns. All of their information is posted in English and Spanish.

League of Women Voters of Alabama is a non-partisan political organization that works to improve Alabama’s systems of government and impact public policy through education and advocacy.

Alabama Arise has a list of resources and are pushing for automatic voter registration

When We Fight is a group whose mission is to “educate, organize, mobilize, and support our community in the dismantling of systemic injustice”

Faith & Works is “Black-led, non-partisan, statewide civic engagement and social justice collective which aims to organize and empower faith leaders to use effective grassroots community organizing strategies to create congregational involvement”

CALIFORNIA

2020 brings a host of measures to the ballot. Of particular interest

Prop. 16: Ending the Ban on Affirmative Action  

  • This constitutional amendment would allow schools and public agencies to take race and other immutable characteristics into account when making admission and hiring decisions. In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209, a constitutional amendment banning affirmative action at state institutions. The result was an immediate drop in Black and Latino enrollment at the state’s elite public universities. A “yes” vote would re-establish affirmative actions, whereas a “no” vote would keep the ban on affirmative action in place.

Prop. 17: Restoring the Right to Vote to People on Parole

  • This constitutional amendment would give Californians currently on parole the ability to vote. In 1974, California voters passed a ballot measure giving people who have committed felonies the right to vote once they complete their sentences and are no longer on parole. A “yes” vote would enable those on parole to vote, whereas a “no” vote would prevent them from doing so.

Prop. 18: Lifting Voting Restrictions on Voters Under Age 18

  • This constitutional amendment would allow 17-year-old U.S. citizens to vote in a primary and special election as long as they will turn 18 by the subsequent general election. A “yes” vote would enable them to do so, whereas a “no” vote would not lift underage voting restrictions.

Prop. 21: Rent Control

  • This statute would allow cities to introduce new rent control laws or expand existing ones. A “yes” vote on this statute would allow cities to apply new rent control ordinances only to homes that are at least 15 years old. It exempts single-family homes owned by landlords with no more than two properties.

Prop. 25: Cash Bail

  • This referendum asks voters to either approve (with a “yes” vote) or strike down (with a “no” vote) a state law that eliminates cash bail from the state criminal justice system.

Prop. 22: Self-Employment for Ride-Hail Drivers

  • This statute would turn app-based drivers into independent contractors, exempting companies such as Lyft and Uber from standard wage and hour restrictions. It would also guarantee these drivers an earnings floor, a stipend to purchase health insurance and other minimum benefits. 

Prop. 24: Consumer Privacy Laws

  • This statute would strengthen California’s consumer privacy law and establish a California Privacy Protection Agency. Along with setting up a state agency tasked with enforcing state privacy law, a “yes” vote on the measure would increase financial penalties for violators and allow consumers to demand that personal information not be shared at all, rather than simply not sold. A “no” vote would strike this down.

For more information regarding these and other measures on the California ballot, check out the California Ballotpedia page.

You MUST register to vote 15 days before Election Day. You can register in person, online, or mail in your voter registration as long as it is postmarked 15 days before the election. Register to vote here.

To be a registered voter in California you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Be a resident of California
  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time of the election
  • Not be imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony
  • Not currently be judged mentally incompetent by a court of law.

For the November 3rd election, every registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail by executive order. County election officials will send a ballot to every registered voter within the county. This means that if you are a college student you may want to check which address you used on your voter registration. Chances are you may have used your school address when you would rather have your ballot be sent to your permanent address or vice versa. 

Voter ID Requirements

If you’ve voted in California before, you don’t need to show ID. If you’re a first-time voter who registered by mail, and didn’t include your driver’s license number, California ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number on your registration, you may be asked to provide ID when you vote.

Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • A copy of a recent utility bill
  • The sample ballot booklet you received from your county elections office or another document sent to you by a government agency
  • A US passport
  • A California driver’s license
  • An official state identification card
  • A student identification card showing your name and photograph.

Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot.

All registered voters will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3, 2020 General Election. Registered voters do not have to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot for this election. When you receive your mail-in ballot, make sure to:

  1. Fill out your ballot
  2. After you have voted, insert your ballot in the envelope provided, making sure you complete all required information on the envelope
  3. You may return your voted ballot by mail, in person, or to a drop box
    • If you are returning your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after Election Day
    • If you are returning your ballot in person or dropping it in a drop box, it must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on November 3rd.
    • On October 13th, California authorities sent cease and desist orders to state GOP leaders who supported the placement of unauthorized drop boxes in various counties. Please check to make sure your ballot dropbox is listed on the official California elections website.
    • Anyone may return your ballot for you, as long as they do not get paid on a per ballot basis. In order for your ballot to be counted, you must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of your ballot envelope

Click here to learn more about vote-by-mail in California.

Provisional ballots are for voters whose credentials are in question on Election Day. The ballot will be counted after election officials determine that the voter is eligible. It is your right to ask for a provisional ballot. If for any reason a poll worker says you can’t fill out a ballot, they must give you a provisional ballot if you request one. Click here to learn more about obtaining a provisional ballot in California.

Voters in California may encounter long wait times at the polls, especially in Los Angeles county. If you are unable to vote early, please arrive at the polls several hours before closing, if possible.

  • Text your friends to ask them if they are registered to vote at their current address; every voter should check their status at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/
  • If you’re moving back home or back to your dorm, make sure you re-register under your new address. 

GeorGIA

For a list of ballot measures in your county, visit the Georgia Ballotpedia page.

The deadline to register to vote in the November 3rd General Election is October 5. Early voting begins October 12 with Saturday early voting beginning on October 24. Visit this page to check the status of your voter registration or register to vote in Georgia.

To vote, you will need:

  • Any valid state or federal government-issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
  • A Georgia Driver’s License, even if expired
  • Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
  • Valid U.S. passport ID
  • Valid U.S. military photo ID
  • Valid tribal photo ID

Bring one of these six forms of identification to vote.

Georgia Voter ID Card

If you do not have one of the six acceptable forms of photo ID, the State of Georgia offers a free ID Card. An ID card can be issued at any county registrar’s office or Department of Driver Services Office free of charge.

To receive a voter identification card, the voter must provide:

  • A photo identity document or approved non-photo identity document that includes full legal name and date of birth
  • Documentation showing the voter’s date of birth
  • Evidence that the applicant is a registered voter
  • Documentation showing the applicant’s name and residential address

The State of Georgia allows absentee voting by mail and in-person.  No excuse is required to vote before Election Day.

  • The deadline to request a mail-in absentee ballot is October 30th, but the Postal Service recommends submitting your request by October 18, to ensure you receive a ballot in time for it to be counted.
  • Georgia law allows for absentee by mail ballots to be requested up to 180 days before an election
  • To request an absentee ballot, voters should complete an absentee ballot application and return the absentee ballot application to their county registration office.
  • Absentee ballots must be counted if they are postmarked by Election Day (November 3) and delivered up to three days afterward by November 6.
  • Given the high probability of postal service delays, you should request your ballot as soon as possible; when you receive it, carefully follow the directions for filling it out, and then return it as quickly as possible.
  • Absentee ballot applications can be returned by mail, fax, email (as an attachment), or in-person to the local County Board of Registrar’s Office. Click here to learn more about absentee voting in Georgia or to request absentee ballot online.

If you arrive to vote at your polling place and your name is not on the list of registered voters, you can request to cast a provisional ballot. The Registrars have 48 hours after the closing of the polls to determine if you were eligible to vote. You must cast your provisional ballot in the precinct in which you are registered. If you cast your ballot outside your precinct, it will not be counted. At the time you cast a provisional ballot, the poll officer will give you written information telling you how to find out if your ballot was counted and, if your ballot was not counted, the reason why your ballot was not counted.

For more information on provisional voting in Georgia, visit The Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office webpage or call (404) 656-2871.

Strict Voter Registration Deadlines

In 2018, approximately 87,000 Georgians were barred from voting because they’d registered after the deadline. Georgia has one of the strictest deadlines in the country; if you want to vote on Election Day, you must register at least 29 days in advance. Indeed, 5,900 people in the Georgia 7th District registered to vote in the 29 days before the election, meaning they’d missed the deadline and couldn’t vote in 2018, according to records from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

While not all would have necessarily made it to the polls on Election Day, the number of potential voters who didn’t even have a chance to cast a ballot was nearly 14 times the margin of victory in the 7th District race. A disproportionate number of those potential voters were people of color or young voters.

Long Lines, Long Wait Times

In Atlanta, voters in the summer of 2020 waited more than three hours at some polling places as social distancing measures decreased the number of voting machines and people inside a polling place at one time. If you are voting in-person in Georgia, arrive early to account for long wait times.

 

Voting Machine Malfunctions and Sudden Poll Closures

During the primary election this summer, voters encountered multiple issues at the state and local levels.

Aunna Dennis, the executive director of Common Cause Georgia which is the state chapter of a nonpartisan watchdog group focused on voting rights, reported that multiple polling locations moved within the 48 hours before the election with little warning and didn’t provide proper signage to indicate the changes in locations for voters.

On October 12th early voting kicked off in the state and voters are waiting hours in long lines at voting sites, including at the state’s largest voting site, as a result of technical issues voting machines. If you plan to early vote, you may want to pack a snack, wear comfortable shoes, and bring something to read or a fully charged phone (bring a backup phone charger if you have one!) to keep yourself occupied.

Kansas

There are no statewide ballot initiatives in Kansas. To find ballot initiatives in your county, visit the Kansas Ballotpedia page.

For early in-person voting and to vote on Election Day, November 3rd, you will need to show photo ID. Visit this page to check if you are registered to vote or to register to vote in Kansas.

Acceptable forms include:

  • A driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card issued by Kansas or by another state
  • A concealed carry handgun license
  • A US passport
  • A government employee badge or ID
  • A military ID
  • A student ID from an accredited postsecondary institution of education in Kansas
  • A government-issued public assistance ID
  • A tribal ID
  • Persons age 65 or older may use expired photo ID documents.

Voters Without ID

If you don’t have a state ID, you can get one for free by filling out this form and going to the DMV. However, if you are still unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot and provide your ID to the county prior to the county canvass no later than 7 days after the election in order for it to be counted.

Early Voting

Sedgwick County (Wichita and suburbs) early voting: The Election Office begins in-person advance voting 15 days before the election and continues until 12 Noon the Monday before Election Day. Additional satellite sites are open Thursday – Saturday the week before Election Day for local elections, or Tuesday – Saturday for large county-wide elections. Visit this page for more information and polling locations.

Intrust Bank Arena will be open as an early voting site beginning October 19. The Intrust Bank Arena site will operate similarly to the Sedgwick County Election Office, and will only be for Sedgwick County residents. 

Click the links for information on early voting in each county.

Douglas County

Riley County

Harvey County (Bethel)

Absentee ballots will be mailed out on October 14. Please make sure you return your ballot as soon as possible. October 20 is the common guideline people share for accounting for postal service delays.

Requests to vote by mail must be received by Tuesday, October 27, 2020 – but your request should be submitted by Oct. 18 (and preferably much earlier) to ensure you receive the ballot in time to return is to it can be counted.

  • To request an absentee ballot, voters should complete an absentee ballot application and return the absentee ballot application to their county registration office
  • Absentee ballots must be counted if they are postmarked by Election Day (November 3) and delivered up to three days afterward by November 6
  • Given the high probability of postal service delays, you should request your ballot as soon as possible – preferably by October 18, or earlier.

Absentee ballot applications can be returned by mail, fax, email (as an attachment), or in-person to the local County Board of Registrar’s Office. Click here to learn more about absentee voting in Kansas or to request absentee ballot online.

You can drop off your ballots at any early voting location, at a designated “drop box,” at your County Clerk or Election Office between October 14 and November 3, or at your polling place on Election Day.

If you arrive to vote at your polling place and your name is not on the list of registered voters, you can request to cast a provisional ballot. The Registrars have 48 hours after the closing of the polls to determine if you were eligible to vote. You must cast your provisional ballot in the precinct in which you are registered. If you cast your ballot outside your precinct, it will not be counted. At the time you cast a provisional ballot, the poll officer will give you written information telling you how to find out if your ballot was counted and, if your ballot was not counted, the reason why your ballot was not counted.

Visit this page to learn more about provisional voting in Kansas.

Voters in Kansas may encounter long wait times at the polls. If you are unable to vote early, please arrive at the polls several hours before closing, if possible.

OHIO

As of September 21, no statewide initiatives have been certified for the upcoming election. To learn more about potential future ballot issues, please visit Ohio’s Ballotpedia page.

To register online, you will need:

  • Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card number
  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number

For early in-person voting starting October 6 and for in-person voting on Election Day on November 3:

  • You must register to vote prior to Oct 5th, 2020. To register, visit here
  • Confirm polling location here. Please note that Lucas and Summit counties have separate buildings for early voting.
  • You must bring an ID showing a valid Ohio address. You can find the full list of acceptable forms of ID here
  • Bring a mask to protect community members and poll workers!

For vote by mail:

  • Request an absentee ballot here
  • You have the option to fill out the form OR write all required information on a piece of paper and deliver or mail it to the Board of Elections (BOE).
  • When your ballot request is fulfilled, you will receive your ballot
  • Mail your ballot back or hand deliver it to the BOE
  • If you choose to mail it, you will need your own postage.

Ohio allows any voter to request a ballot by mail. You may request your mail-in ballot with an Ohio mail-in ballot application. Although the deadline to request a ballot by mail is 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, 2020, but the Postal Service does not guarantee you will receive it in time for the election. To ensure you receive your ballot and can return it in time, request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible, and preferably before October 15.

NOTE: County Board of Elections started sending registered voters their absentee ballots on October 6th. Shortly after, it was discovered that Franklin County (Columbus) Board of Elections sent voters the incorrect ballots. Officials will be automatically sending corrected ballots to all voters who have been marked for receiving an incorrect ballot. Those who received an incorrect ballot also have the option to vote early in-person at the Board of Elections. If you have questions, contact the Voter Protection Hotline at 1-844-OH-I-VOTE or the Franklin County Board of Elections (614) 525-3100. 

When you receive your mail-ballot application, please remember:

  • To fill out the application completely
  • To submit the request to your local election office by October 15. Again, voters technically have until 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, 2020, but it is highly recommended to do so before.
  • Mailed ballots must be postmarked by November 2, however, the USPS estimates it will take about 5 to 7 days to get to the BOE, so mail it before October 26; if the deadline is nearing, you also can bring your ballot to an official county election-board drop box.
  • It is the voter’s responsibility to make sure that the ballot is stamped properly
  • If your ballot doesn’t arrive or you decide to vote on election day in person, you must fill out a provisional ballot
  • The Columbus Dispatch has noted that nearly 23,000 ballots in Ohio could be discarded as a result of minor problems with ballots. Make sure to double check the instructions as you fill out your ballot!

Provisional ballots are for voters whose credentials are in question on Election Day. The ballot will be counted after election officials determine that the voter is eligible. It is your right to ask for a provisional ballot. If for any reason a poll worker says you can’t fill out a ballot, they must give you a provisional ballot if you request one.

If you do not have an acceptable proof of identity at the time of voting, you must go to your county’s BOE within the next 7 days and provide them with proof of identity such as:

  • Driver’s license or state ID
  • Social security number
  • Copy of valid ID

Please note that the address with which you registered to vote with MUST match the address on your ID.

If voting on Election Day, a voter with a physical or mental disability may bring anyone of their choice to assist them, as long as it’s not a candidate on the ballot, their employer, or a union representative. Under federal and state law, all polling places must be accessible for voters with disabilities. If a person is confined to a public or private institution (group housing, nursing home, etc.), they can request a ballot be sent to them from their county BOE. If a person is unable to sign their name on the ballot, they may place an “X” and their ballot will still be counted.

If you or your minor child is hospitalized on Election Day, you must fill out this form and return it to the BOE no later than 3pm on Election Day. If you’re hospitalized in the same county in which you’re registered to vote, then two representatives from the BOE will come to the hospital to deliver the ballot, wait for you to fill it out, then take the ballot back to the BOE. If you are in the hospital long term, they may fill out an absentee application and request that a relative pick up their absentee ballot and deliver it to the BOE.

USPS Capacity Issues and Delays

  • Ohio is among 46 states that received a warning from the U.S. Postal Service officials that the state’s mail-voting laws may result in votes arriving too late to be counted
  • Thomas J. Marshall, the USPS general counsel and executive vice president, notes that Ohio’s deadline for requesting an absentee ballot falls too close to Election Day to guarantee it will be mailed in time. It is recommended that voters request a ballot application at least 15 days before Election Day, and recommends mailing completed ballots back to the county BOE at least one week before Election Day

Voter Purging

  • Ohio sends people who have not voted in two years a notice, then removes them from voter rolls if they don’t respond to the notice or vote in the subsequent four-year period. Due to purging, all voters should check here to confirm they are registered.
  • For voters who only vote in presidential elections, the decision to sit out one election might lead to being purged

Inaccessible Polls/Voting Sites

  • Ohio has some of the longest voting lines in the country. If you’re voting in person, please arrive early and allow for extra time.
  • During the 2004 presidential election, tens of thousands of Ohioans ran out of time to vote due to long lines, so Ohio initially increased early voting opportunities in response. However, Ohio has since limited early voting times, restricted early voting centers to one per county, closed polling locations, and purged large numbers of voters

Limited Access to Absentee Ballots

  • In Ohio, voters who have been arrested after the absentee ballot request deadline and who are detained through Election Day cannot cast an absentee ballot

Scheduling Problems

  • Low-wage and hourly workers often have inflexible schedules that prevent them from making it to the polls during the polling location’s hours of operation. Additionally, Ohio does not require  hourly workers be compensated for the time they take to vote
  • Given that Ohio’s early voting window is less than a month long and evening and weekend voting hours are limited, please get your absentee ballot as soon as possible if you’re unable to get to the polls.
  • A new organization, Columbus Stand Up, is organizing rideshare program for voters who need rides to the polls during early voting. Contact them at the list for more information. 

Closed Polling Locations

  • According to the Ohio League of Women Voters, 14 Ohio counties reduced the number of precincts they had by more than 15% between 2008 and 2010, thereby cutting the number of polling locations available to Ohio voters. Some of Ohio’s largest counties — Cuyahoga, Hamilton, and Lucas — have had precinct reductions of 26 percent, 23 percent, and 28 percent, respectively. Please make allowances for extra time spent at the polls.

TEXAS

Texas has no statewide ballot measures for the 2020 General Election. To see ballot measures in your county, please visit Texas’ Ballotpedia page and search for ballot measures by county.

Once you’re registered to vote, all you need to bring to your assigned polling place is a valid, up-to-date photo ID. You can find your assigned polling place here.

Acceptable Forms of Identification in Texas:

  • Texas driver’s license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas election ID certificate
  • Texas personal ID card
  • Texas handgun license
  • US military ID with photo
  • US citizenship certificate with photograph (doesn’t need to be current); or a US passport. Forms must be current or expired less than four years
  • For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid

Voters without ID

If you don’t have ID and cannot obtain one due to a reasonable impediment, you’ll need to sign a sworn statement that there is a reason why you don’t have any of the accepted IDs, and present one of the following:

  • Certified birth certificate
  • Valid voter registration certificate
  • A current utility bill, government check, bank statement or paycheck, or government document with your name and an address.

If you meet these requirements and are eligible to vote, you may vote in the election.

Texas voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 13, 2020, to Friday, October 30, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. You can find your assigned polling place here.

Voting by mail/absentee ballot has been available to elderly voters and voters with physical disabilities in Texas for decades. Applications for a ballot by mail may be submitted to the local office anytime in a calendar year but no later than October 23, 11 days before Election Day.

You may vote by mail if you are:

  • Going to be away from your county on Election Day and during early voting
  • Sick or disabled
  • 65 years of age or older on Election Day
  • Confined in jail, but eligible to vote

You must complete and return your application at least 11 days prior to the election for which a ballot is requested – but for the November 2020 election, you should request it by October 18 to ensure it is delivered in time to be counted. For further information, please call 210-335-0362. Click here to fill out your Texas absentee ballot application.

If you choose to vote via absentee ballot, remember to:

  • Review the absentee ballot application and confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements for voting absentee
  • Fill out the application completely
  • Submit the absentee ballot application to your local Board of Registrars by Friday, October 23. However, given the high probability of postal service delays, you should request your ballot as soon as possible and no later than October 18, to ensure you receive it in time to return it and have it counted.
  • When your ballot arrives, carefully follow the instructions to complete and return it

This service is available to any voter who has difficulty walking or standing for long periods. Please call ahead to the Elections office so that the early voting clerk at your vote center can be notified that you want to vote from your car. All polling locations in Bexar County have the Express Touch voting unit for curbside voting use.

Provisional ballots are for voters whose credentials are in question on Election Day. The ballot will be counted after election officials determine that the voter is eligible. It is your right to ask for a provisional ballot. If for any reason a poll worker says you can’t fill out a ballot, they must give you a provisional ballot if you request one.

If you do not have an acceptable proof of identity at the time of voting, you must go to your local voter registrar’s office within the next 6 days and provide them with one of the forms of photo ID listed in the “What do you need to vote in Texas” or submit a temporary affidavit, or, if applicable, qualify for the disability exemption in the presence of the county voter registrar while attesting that you do not have any of the required photo IDs.

USPS Capacity Issues and Delays

  • Texas is among 46 states that received a warning from the U.S. Postal Service officials that the state’s mail-voting laws may result in votes arriving too late to be counted
  • Thomas J. Marshall, the USPS general counsel and executive vice president, notes that Alabama’s deadline for requesting an absentee ballot falls too close to Election Day to guarantee it will be mailed in time. It is recommended that voters request a ballot application at least 15 days before Election Day, and recommends mailing completed ballots back to the county BOE at least one week before Election Day

Challenges to Voter Registration Status in Texas

  • Texas Election Code allows any registered voter to “challenge” the registration of any other voter in the same county. This process is subject to abuse. In Fall 2018, one individual challenged over 4,000 Harris County voter registrations, many of whom were registered at churches or homeless shelters
  • If you have received a “confirmation notice” requesting that you confirm your current residence, this is an indication that your registration may have been challenged
  • By law, the confirmation notice must include a prepaid, preaddressed “confirmation notice response form” that provides space for you to confirm your current residence and submit additional voter registration information
  • For more information, visit this page for help restoring your voter registration in Texas

Scheduling Problems

Closed Polling Locations

  • According to a report by Lawfare, lines at polling locations in 2018 were higher than any in recent history with voters waiting anywhere from three to six hours to cast ballots.
  • These delays were due, in part, to an inadequate number of polling locations in certain counties. Voters at Texas Southern University, a historically Black college in Harris County, were still in line at 1 am
  • Harris County has lost 52 polling locations since 2012 and the county consists of predominantly Black and Latinx voters.
  • Since 2012, Texas has closed 750 polling stations. 542 of the closed polling locations were in the 50 counties with the largest growth in Black and Latinx residents, whereas only 34 were in the 50 counties with the least growth in Black and Latinx residents