POSTED: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 2:22pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 5:51pm
As of Wednesday, April 24, 2012, Smith County voter registration cards have been mailed out and should be received by Smith County voters by the end of the week. Smith County Elections Administrator, Karen Nelson, said that “while a voter may vote without a voter registration card, we want all voters to be confident with regard to their registration and correct voting precinct location.” Voters may also vote with approved forms of identification.
According to the Secretary of State’s website www.votexas.org/faq , “the issuing of new [voter registration] cards was delayed due to redistricting. A new federal court order has been issued and the counties are instructed to issue the new certificates no later than April 25, 2012. The expiration of your old certificate on 12/31/2011 does not mean your voter registration expires. However, if your residence address is different, you should apply to update your registration (especially if you have moved to a new county).”
Regarding voter photo identification requirements, the U.S. Department of Justice has refused to allow implementation of Texas Senate Bill 14 at this time. Thus, current law pertaining to approved documentation required for voting is in effect. Therefore, a Texas Voter Registration Card will be sufficient for voting in the May 12, 2012 Uniform Election and the May 29, 2012 Primary Elections. Approved documentation in addition to, or in lieu of a voter registration card includes at least one of the following:
- A driver's license or personal identification card issued to you by the Texas Department of Public Safety or approved agency of another state;
- A form of identification that contains your photograph and establishes your identity;
- A birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes the person’s identity;
- Your United States citizenship papers;
- Your United States passport;
- Official mail addressed to you by a governmental entity; or
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
The public should also note that the rescheduling of party primaries created the unusual situation of two election dates during May and two “early voting” periods. The May 12 elections are for city council, school district, and a Tyler Junior College bond proposal. The election on May 29 is for county and State-wide elections.