Photo ID required to vote
It's a measure that was passed in 2011 and has been opposed by many since then, regardless, the new voter ID law is effective immediately.
"Voter impersonation fraud is what lawmakers were trying to deter. Photo identification being proof this is indeed the person."
Cameron County Elections Administrator Chris Davis says in order to protect the integrity of votes, the new measure requires that voters provide a photo ID. The days of showing an electricity or water bill as proof of residency are over. Your face must match your name and address, the same information registered with the state of Texas that makes you a valid voter.
While most people have drivers licenses those who do not, still have options.
"They may already have a form of photo ID that is acceptable, a drivers license, or passport, concealed handgun license, military ID card if they are a member of the military," says Davis.
If a voter doesn't have any of these forms of ID, DPS is providing one from them.
It's called an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) that can be obtained after filling out an application at the DPS office.
Voters need only to be a US citizen, Texas resident and be eligible to vote.
It will be an ID that can only be used for voting purposes.
If a voter shows up to the polls without any of the above they will be allowed to vote, but provisionally which means the vote won't count at that time.
The voter has 6 days after the vote to get an acceptable form of ID and take it to the elections office.
A board will then go through the votes to determine which ones qualify.
A tedious process but Davis is confident since the EIC through DPS is absolutely free most voters will come to the polls prepared.
"Our goal is to make sure this isn't a deterrent to getting people to the polls and that they can arrive and then get on with their day."