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Elections – Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact your office?

The telephone number for the Hays County Election Administrator’s Office is 512.393.7310.

We are located at the Hays County Government Center:

712 South Stagecoach Trail
Suite 1012
San Marcos, TX 78666-6294

Our e-mail address is elections@co.hays.tx.us and our website is https:/hayscountytx.com/elections/. 

Our fax number is 512.878.6699.

Who is eligible to register to vote in Hays County elections?

You are eligible if you are:

  • a United States citizen;
  • a resident of Hays County;
  • 18 years old (although you may register at 17 years and 10 months of age);
  • not be a convicted felon (unless your sentence is completed, including any probation or parole);
  • not be declared mentally incapacitated by a final judgment of a court.

You will remain registered as long as you remain eligible and notify us of address changes. Use this handy tool from the Texas Secretary of State to check the status of your voter registration.

Where can I get a voter registration application?

Voter registration applications are available at our office, other county offices, libraries, post offices, Texas Department of Public Safety offices, and Texas Department of Human Services.  Additionally, you may obtain an application by calling us at (512) 393-7310 or download the Hays County Voter Registration Application.  Please note that the PDF is form-fillable – some browsers may disable this functionality by default.

How soon before an election can I register and be able to vote?

Voter Registration

You may register to vote at any time. However, your application must be submitted 30 days before an election for you to be eligible to vote in that election.

Complete a postage-free post card application and mail it, or take it in person, to the Hays County Elections office.
You must be at least 17 years and 10 months of age on the date your application is submitted. If any of the information on the application is incomplete, you will be notified and required to send a second application. The second application must be received by the Hays County Election Administrator within 10 days.

Are you registered to vote in Texas? 

Check your voter registration BEFORE the election in which you wish to vote. Use this web tool from the Texas Secretary of State to find out if you are already registered in to vote in Texas.

Are You Eligible To Vote?

The Texas Secretary of State — the state’s election authority — says you can register to vote in Texas if you:

* are a U.S. citizen;

* are a resident of the county where you submit the application;

* will be at least 18 years old on Election Day;

* are not a convicted felon (though you may be eligible to vote * if you have completed your sentence, probation and parole); and have not been declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law.

After I have registered, when will I receive my Voter Registration Certificate?

You should receive a Voter Registration Certificate within 30 days of submitting your application. Check your certificate to make sure all information is correct. If there is a mistake, immediately make corrections and return the certificate to the registrar. Otherwise, sign and retain your Voter Registration Certificate.  Present your certificate at the Hays County polling place on election day. You will receive a new color-coded certificate every two years.

What do I do if I have changed my address, but still live in Hays County?

Promptly notify the Hays County Election Administrator in writing of your new address by:
      1. correcting the information on your current voter registration certificate and returning it to the voter registrar;            or
      2. completing a voter registration application and check the box for “change”; or
      3. making voter registration address changes when you update your driver’s license at DPS.

You will receive a new, corrected certificate. You will be able to vote in your new precinct 30 days after your notice has been received.

You must notify the Hays County Election Administrator of your change of address as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, you may vote a full ballot in your former precinct if your registration has not become effective in your new precinct. You will be required to complete a Statement of Residence form before voting.

What if I move to another county?

You must re-register in that county. Complete an application and mail it or take it in person to the voter registrar of your new county. You will be registered 30 days after your application is submitted. You will receive a new certificate.
You may be eligible to vote a limited ballot in your new county of residence after moving if:
      1. you were qualified to vote in your former county at the time you moved; and
      2. your registration in the new county is not yet effective.
If you vote a limited ballot, you may vote on all statewide offices and propositions and for all district offices which are common to your new and former counties of residence.
You must apply for a limited ballot and vote by personal appearance with the early voting clerk conducting the election in your new county during the early voting period. This period generally begins on the 17th day and ends on the 4th day before an election. You may also completed a limited ballot by mail if you are already eligible to vote by mail.

My name has changed. Can I still vote?

Yes. Promptly notify the Election Administrator in writing of the name change following the same steps for a change of address. You will receive a new, corrected certificate within 30 days.

What does the term "suspense" mean on a voter's record?

Pursuant to §13.146(b) of the Election Code, the term suspense is used to designate those voters for whom the Hays County Election Administrator does not have a current address. A voter with this designation will be removed from the suspense list and restored to active status once that person has advised the Hays County Election Administrator of his or her new address. This new address is important, not only so that our records will be accurate, but also so that the voter is voting in the elections where he or she resides.

What if I lose my voter registration card?

Notify the Election Administrator’s office in writing and you will be issued a replacement certificate. You may vote without your certificate by presenting acceptable proof of identity at the polling place and signing an affidavit.

Where do I vote?

Hays County is now a vote center county!  You may now vote at any open polling location in the county on both Election Day and during Early Voting. 

Check the Current Year Elections page and select the desired election for polling locations, days, and times.  Local newspapers also list polling locations. You can also call the Hays County Election Administration office at 512.393.7310.

What are the requirements to vote by mail?

You may apply for a ballot by mail if you:
     1. will be away from Hays County on Election Day AND during early voting;
     2. are disabled;
     3. are 65 years of age or older on election day; or
     4. are confined in jail.

Download an application for ballot by mail.  For more information, call the election administration office at 512.393.7310. 

For specific information about special voting procedures available to members of the military and U.S. citizens overseas, visit www.votetexas.gov/military-overseas-voters/.

What is early voting?

Early voting is really convenience voting, allowing a voter registered in any precinct within Hays County to vote at any early voting location.  For general information on early voting our voter registration and ballot by mail page. For the 2020 General Election, Early Voting is October 13-30.

If I am in college, should I register in my home town or in my college town?

Either is acceptable – whichever you consider your permanent residence.

If you are registered in your home town (and it is not in Hays County) and you will not be in that county on Election Day or during early voting, you may request an application for ballot by mail from that county’s elections administration office.

Check here to see where you are registered.

What if I need assistance at the polls?

All polling locations are handicapped accessible. The e-Slate voting system is fully accessible and has an audio feature which allows any voter to listen to the ballot. You are also entitled to receive assistance if you cannot read or write, or have a physical disability that prevents you from reading or marking the ballot.

Tell the election official that you need help to vote. You do not have to provide proof of your disability.

You MAY be assisted by:

  • any person of your choice; or
  • one election worker during early voting; or
  • two election workers on election day.

You may NOT be assisted by:

  • your employer; or
  • an agent of your employer; or
  • an officer or agent of your union.

The person assisting you must read you the entire ballot, unless you ask to have only parts of the ballot read.  He or she must also take an oath that he or she will not try to influence your vote and will mark your ballot as you direct. 

If you choose to be assisted by polling place officials, a poll watcher and/or state election inspector present in the polling place may observe the voting process to be sure that the ballot has been marked as you wanted. If you ask to be assisted by a person of your choosing, no one else may watch you vote.

It is illegal for a person assisting you to:

  • mark your ballot in a way other than the way you have asked; or
  • tell anyone how you voted; or
  • try to influence your vote.

Interpreters at the Polls
If you cannot speak English, or if you communicate only with sign language, you may use an interpreter to help you communicate with election officials. You may select any registered voter in your county to be your interpreter. If you cannot read the ballot, your interpreter may translate the ballot for you in the voting booth, after taking the Assistant Oath.

Curbside Voting
If you are unable to physically enter the polling place, you may ask that an election officer bring an e-Slate electronic voting device to you at the entrance of the polling place or to your vehicle. After you vote on the e-Slate, give it to the election officer, who will then reconnect it to the Judges Booth Controller in order to ensure that your vote will be counted.

Tip: if you plan to go alone to vote curbside, it is wise to call ahead so election officials will expect your arrival.

What is a provisional ballot?
The Federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 provides for provisional voting if a voter’s name does not appear on the list of registered voters due to an administrative error. If your name is not on the rolls of registered voters in your precinct, but you believe you are registered, the election judge at the polling location will attempt to determine if you are registered somewhere else in your county. If yes, you will be allowed to vote and your address will be updated.

If your registration cannot be found, you may cast a provisional vote by filling out an affidavit and a paper ballot. This ballot is kept separate from the regular ballots, and the case will be reviewed by the provisional voting ballot board. The ballot will be counted only if the voter is determined to be a registered voter in that precinct. Provisional voters will receive a notice in the mail by the tenth day after the local canvass advising them if their provisional ballots were counted and, if they were not counted, the reason why.

If you vote provisionally, you will need to visit the  Hays County Elections Administrator’s office for Hays County within six (6) calendar days of the date of the election to either present one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID in order for your provisional ballot to be counted. The State of Texas provides certain other options for those who qualify if you are not able to present one of the seven acceptable forms of ID, including the execution of a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and presenting one of the acceptable forms of supporting ID.

Acceptable forms of photo ID

  • 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
  • US passport.

Numbers to call for help

  • 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) English
  • 888-Ve-Y-Vota (839-8682) Spanish
  • 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi, and Tagalog
  • 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287) Arabic
  • 301-818-VOTE (301-818-8683) American Sign Language (video call)
  • 888-796-VOTE Disability Rights Texas 
What are the acceptable forms of ID needed to vote?

All citizens wishing to vote must be on the official list of registered voters. Voters may use one of seven forms of photo ID. These IDs may be expired up to four years. Persons 70 years of age or older may use an expired ID. 

Acceptable forms of ID are:

      • Driver license
      • Texas Election Identification Certificate (EIC)
      • Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
      • Texas license to carry a handgun issued by DPS
      • US military identification card containing the person’s photograph
      • US citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
      • US passport (book or card)

Registered voters without photo ID, who cannot reasonably obtain one, may sign a form and present the original or a copy of one of the following documents with the voters name and address to vote a regular ballot:

      • Voter registration card
      • Certified birth certificate
      • Current utility bill
      • Bank statement
      • Government check
      • Paycheck
      • Any other government document such as an out of state driver’s license or expired Texas driver’s license.

The form is called a “Voter’s Declaration of Reasonable Impediment or Difficulty.” The voter must mark on the form one of the following reasons for not providing a photo ID.*

      • Lack of transportation
      • Disability or illness
      • Lack of birth certificate or other documents needed to obtain an acceptable form of photo ID.
      • Work schedule
      • Family responsibilities
      • Lost or stolen identification
      • Acceptable form of photo ID applied for but not received

*ID address does not have to match the voter registration address.

IMPORTANT: A student ID is not a form of valid voter ID.

Once you sign the form and show your ID you will be able to cast a normal ballot at your polling place.

The name on your photo ID and the list of registered voters must match. If your name is substantially similar (if it’s slightly different, is a common variation of your formal name, contains an initial, middle name or former last name or your first, middle or last name is in a different field on the ID than on the list of registered voters) you may still be able to vote a normal ballot. However, you must also submit an affidavit stating that you are the same person as is listed on the list of registered voters.

If you do not have any of these forms of ID, you can get an Election Identification Certificate to present at the polling place. To find out more about these certificates, click here.

From <https://www.vote411.org/texas#id-needed-for-voting>

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