Secretary of State Discusses New Voting Rules

Secretary of State Discusses New Voting Rules

By: Alexa Williams

NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Election day is fast approaching but there are some new rules to remember this year and Secretary of State, John Steen, made a stop in the Basin to get the word out.

"Before, you didn't have to show a photo ID if you vote, if you vote in person. Now you do, so we want people to know" said Secretary Steen.

This is the first year voters are required to show photo identification. Different options include a Texas drivers license, personal identification card, a concealed handgun license, a U.S. issued passport, citizenship certificate or a military ID, and now there is one more option.

"We've got something new, which is an election identification certificate, which we've all been referring to as an EIC," Steen said.

An EIC is free of charge. It's valid for six years but may only be used to vote and not everyone is eligible.

"The overwhelming people that are coming in are actually finding out that they don't need an EIC, and just to clarify, if you've got one of the six approved forms of photo id, you do not only not need an EIC, you cannot get one. It's only if you don't have one of the six, that you're entitled to an EIC," Steen said.

Don't worry if you find yourself at the polls and you don't have any photo identification on you, you wont be turned away.

"If you show up at the polls and you don't have photo ID, then you can vote provisionally and what that means is you go ahead and vote and you got six days to go down to the county election officials. So far with these five days of early voting, we're not seeing any kind of increase in provisional voting, which is good," Steen said.

If you need a Election Identification Certificate, DPS will have mobile units in the Basin on Wednesday, October 30 and Thursday, October 31 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

In Odessa, you can go to the Annex building located at 1010 E 8th St. and the MCH clinics at 840 W. Clements.

In Midland, you can go to the County Annex located at 2110 N. "A" Street and Cogdell Learning Center at 201 W Florida Ave on Wednesday. On Thursday, you can go to the County Annex or the Greater Ideal Baptist Church located at 301 S. Tyler Street.