**Updated – added where to vote early in Grapeland
By Sarah Naron
Citizens of Houston and Anderson counties are encouraged to head to the polls and let their voices be heard as early voting begins Monday, Oct. 22 for a number of elections set to take place Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Early voting in Houston County will take place in the basement of the Houston County Courthouse – located at 401 E. Houston Ave. in Crockett – between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 and ending Friday, Nov. 22. Early voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28.
Early voting in Anderson County will take place in the Anderson County Courthouse Annex – located at 703 N. Mallard, Ste. 103A in Palestine – between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 and ending Friday, Nov. 22. Early voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28.
According to the official website of the Texas Secretary of State, voters will be required to present one of the seven acceptable forms of photo identification prior to entering the booth. Acceptable forms of photo ID include the following:
• A Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
• A Texas election identification certificate issued by the DPS
• A Texas license to carry a handgun issued by the DPS
• A Texas personal identification card issued by the DPS
• A United States citizenship certificate which includes the voter’s photo
• A United States military identification card which includes the voter’s photo
• A United States passport
Excluding U.S. citizenship certificates, all forms of identification must be current or must not have expired more than four years prior to the election.
Voters wishing to obtain an election certificate may do so by visiting their local DPS office during regular business hours. The Houston County DPS office is located at 1809 E. Loop 304 in Crockett and may be contacted at 936-544-5917. The Anderson County DPS office is located at 1900 W. Spring St. in Palestine and may be contacted at 903-661-5000. Each office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In the event that a voter does not possess a form of acceptable photo identification and has a reasonable impediment preventing him or her from obtaining one, the following supporting forms of ID will be accepted:
• An original certified birth certificate
• A copy of an original government document with the voter’s name and address (original must be provided if a photograph is contained in the document)
• An original bank statement (copy permitted)
• An original paycheck (copy permitted)
• An original government check (copy permitted)
• A current utility bill (copy permitted)
• A valid voter registration certificate
Voters who present a supporting form of identification will be required to complete a reasonable impediment declaration.
Examples of reasonable impediments include disability, illness, a lack of transportation, family responsibilities or work scheduling conflicts which prevent a voter from obtaining a valid form of photo identification. Those who lack a birth certificate or other necessary documentation required for the obtainment of a photo ID, who have applied for a photo ID but not yet received it, or whose photo identification has been lost or stolen also qualify.
Sarah Naron may be reached via email at email@example.com.