EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso voters will soon head to the polls — from Oct. 13 to Oct. 30 for early voting and on Election Day, Nov. 3 — for the 2020 general election. Here’s an overview of everything El Pasoans need to know about casting a ballot in the election.
The information below was compiled by ABC-7 using resources from the Texas Secretary of State and the El Paso County Elections Department.
Important dates to remember!
- October 5 – Last day to register to vote
- October 13 - First day of early voting in person
- October 23 - Last day to apply for a ballot by mail
- October 30 - Last day of early voting
- November 3 - Election day
How do I register to vote?
- The El Paso County Elections Department has an application online that you can print out. You can find that information by clicking here.
- If you don’t have internet the department can send you one. Just call 915-546-2154 for help.
- Request a postage-paid voter registration form from the Texas Secretary of State.
- Fill out an online voter registration application on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.
Am I registered to vote?
- To confirm your voter registration status, click here.
Am I eligible to vote?
- You must be a United States citizen.
- You are a resident of the county where you submit the application.
- You are at least 17 years and 10 months old, and you are 18 years of age on Election Day.
- You are not a convicted felon (you may be eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence, probation and parole); and you have not been declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
Do I need an ID when I vote?
The short answer is yes!
The following is a list of acceptable photo IDs at the polling place:
- Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS.
- Texas Handgun License issued by DPS.
- United State Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph.
- United States Citizenship Certificate containing a person’s photographer.
- United States Passport (book or card).
What if I don’t have any of the acceptable forms of ID?
- If you do not have any of the acceptable forms of ID listed above, click here for information about what you can do.
Who is eligible to vote early?
- Any registered voter may vote early by personal appearance (in person).
Where can I vote early?
- Again, early voting begins on October 13, 2020 and ends on October 30, 2020.
- Click here for early voting locations in El Paso County.
- *NEW* -Express curbside voting, also known as drive-thru voting, will be available at these seven locations: Arlington Park, Bassett Place, El Paso County Coliseum, Marty Robbins Recreation Center, Officer David Ortiz Recreation Center, Oz Glaze Senior Center, Sunland Park Mall. The El Paso County Elections Department says it will have extra workers, outside, ready to process voters as they come.
What if I can’t make it to early voting on the dates and times listed above?
- Saturday and Sunday early voting will be available both weekends from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- *NEW* -During the last week of early voting, which is October 26 thru October 30, the following 10 locations will be open until 10 p.m.
Arlington Park Shelter, Bassett Place, El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso County Eastside Annex, El Paso County Northwest Annex, Marty Robbins Recreation Center, Officer David Ortiz Recreation Center, Oz Glaze Senior Center, Pebble Hills High School, Sunland Park Mall.
Ballot by mail –who qualifies?
- You are eligible to vote early by mail in Texas if you are a registered voter who is:
- 65 years of age of older (Texas Election Code 82.003).
- Out of the country on Election Day and during the period of early voting by personal appearance (must provide out of county address) (Texas Election Code 82.001).
- Sick or disabled (Texas Election code 82.002).
- Confined in jail, but eligible to vote (Texas Election Code 82.004).
If voting by mail, when will I receive my ballot?
- According to the El Paso County Elections Department, ballots will be mailed beginning September 25, 2020. You should receive your ballot within 7 days of requesting it.
When do I have to return my ballot?
- The El Paso County Elections Department says to return your ballot as soon as possible! The department says the United States Post Office is anticipating a 7-10 day mailing period for ballots. Your ballot must be returned to the El Paso County Elections Department by 7 p.m. on November 3, 2020. If a ballot has a readable postmark prior to 7 p.m. on Election Day, the office said it will accept the ballot if received by close of business day on the day after Election Day.
What will it cost to mail my ballot?
- The El Paso County Elections Department recommends at least $.70 postage for the returned ballot. The City of Socorro ballot postage is $1.40.
What if I don’t have postage and would rather drop-off the ballot?
- Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation allowing for El Paso County voters to drop off their own ballot at the El Paso County Courthouse. The voter is required to produce one of the seven acceptable forms of ID or supplemental document when dropping off the ballot. The voter also needs to return the ballot in the carrier envelope provided by their ballot by mail.
Where can I drop off the ballot?
- *NEW* - El Paso County now has a ‘drop spot’ at the El Paso County Courthouse, which is located at: 500 E. San Antonio St., First Floor, Eastside off of Campbell. The El Paso County Elections Department says there will be plenty of signage and a couple parking spots reserved for people. The Elections Department says you can go in, drop off your ballot, sign a roster, produce an ID and be on your way! Please note: you can’t drop off ballots for other people!
How can I verify that my ballot has been received by the El Paso County Election’s Office?
- Beginning September 28, 2020, the El Paso County Elections Department says you can call its office at 915-834-8222 to confirm it has received your ballot.
What if I change my mind and want to vote in person after I request my ballot?
- If you decide you want to vote in person, you must bring the ballot to the polling place, and surrender it. If you no longer have the ballot, you will be required to vote a provisional ballot.
Where do I vote on November 3?
- *NEW* - El Paso County was picked to take part in the Vote Center Program. What does that mean? You can now vote at ANY of the Vote Center locations on Election Day! There are 150 locations to choose from!
- All Vote Centers will be open form 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- For a Vote Center near you, click here.
- Express Curbside, also known as drive-thru voting, will be available at the same sites as early voting.
Important Covid-19 safety precautions at the polls and what you need to know!
- Social distancing: Poll workers will be maintaining a six-foot separation from each voter when possible. Poll workers will also mark each location with six-foot markings for voters to follow.
- Face masks: You are encouraged to wear one and bring your own if possible. However, a limited number of disposable masks will be available on site. Each poll worker will be provided with a disposable mask as well as a disinfected face shield.
- *NEW* - The El Paso County Elections Department says each voter will get a Vote Safe El Paso kit, which will contain hand wipes, a disposable marking utensil, a finger cot, and an “I Voted Sticker.”
- Each polling site will have hand sanitizer, however, the elections department is asking voters to use the hand wipes before voting because the sanitizer can dampen the ballots.
- *NEW* - A ‘clean team’ at every polling location! Its sole responsibility will be sanitizing the polling sites throughout the day, after each voter passes through!
Is straight ticket voting available?
- This is NO longer available. Voters must mark each race separately. Voters will be allowed to pre-mark a sample ballot and take it to the polling site.
What other voting information is available?