Hi Texas friends! Have you voted yet? Here’s some useful info in case you haven’t!
- You’ve got TWO DAYS left to EARLY vote. There is NO early voting this weekend. Most (but not all) polling locations are open till 7p both tomorrow and Friday, and you can vote at ANY early polling place in your county – it doesn’t have to be the same place you’re assigned on election day.
Waiting till election day? That’s fine too! But be prepared – here are some things that might help:
- Afraid you can’t get out of work? Polling places will be open from 7a-7p on Election Day. If you have at least 2 hours in that span that you aren’t working? It’s up to you to get to the polls during that time. But if you DON’T have at least 2 consecutive hours of non-working time in that span, then your employer is REQUIRED to allow you PAID time off to go vote. (Yes, even hourly employees.)
- Can’t get to your polling place till 6:55pm and worried about the line? As long as you’re in line by 7pm, you’ll be allowed to vote.
- Need someone to watch the kids? Free childcare will be available at many YMCAs nationwide. (Or even better yet, if the line isn’t too long, take your kiddo with you! It’s great to get them involved in the process early!)
- Need a ride? Many cities (including Austin!) are offering free public transit on Election Day. If you’ve never used Lyft or Uber, you can use a free ride credit for first time users to get to your polling place. Alternately, if you have a preferred candidate, you can call their campaign office in your area and request ride assistance. Volunteers are standing by to help you get to the polls.
- You’ll need an acceptable form of id – most likely a drivers license, concealed carry permit, or passport in order to vote. If you don’t have one of those, you can also use an expired (by 4 years or less) id, a birth certificate, a voter registration card, or a public utility bill — and you’ll just need to sign an affidavit saying why you didn’t have another form of id. (Lost or misplaced counts as a valid reason.)
- Don’t wear political clothing (shirts, hats, buttons) to the polls with you, as you may be banned from entering the polling location. It’s illegal.
- Not so good with English? Most Texas ballots machines are available in English AND Spanish, but you are allowed to bring an interpreter (which can just be a family member, for example) to help you understand a ballot if you prefer. And that interpreter does NOT need to be registered in the same county as you.
- At the polls and encounter someone intimidating you, threatening you, or otherwise making you feel uncomfortable? Report it to a poll worker or call the ACLU’s Election Protection Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE) or the Department of Justice Voting Rights Hotline (800-253-3931).
- Need even more incentive to vote? Krispy Kreme is giving away free donuts to anyone with an I Voted sticker on Election Day, and Firehouse Subs is giving away free medium drinks.
Run into any other challenges, have questions, want a virtual high five for voting? I’ll be online ALL DAY on Tuesday, and am more than happy to help — just leave a comment here or message me.