Following many rounds of controversy and court challenges, Texas’ voter ID law will take effect this November.
On Monday, an education session was held at East Austin’s Huston-Tillotson University to inform voters just what will be expected of them in the next election.
"The last thing we want to do is turn anyone away," Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said.
DeBeauvoir said a good first step to make sure you are prepared is to check your photo identification against your voter registration card. If the names match, you’re all set.
But for some voters whose names differ a little from one form of ID to the next, the easiest way to fix that is to change the name on the voter registration card.
"That is the simplest, cheapest and quickest way to get the two IDs to match," DeBeauvoir said.
Other acceptable forms of photo ID include:
• Military ID
• Proof of citizenship
• Election ID card
• Concealed handgun license issued by DPS
Several groups, including Disability Rights Texas, have launched outreach efforts of their own. They say it’s important to educate voters, especially those who have limited access to get out and obtain or renew a form of photo ID.
But time is running out.
"Most other states were given time and some money and a plan for implementation,” DeBeauvoir said. “Texas does not have time or a schedule or a plan to implement this. It's just ‘Go forth and do it.’"
The law was actually passed in 2011, but the U.S. Department of Justice rejected the law, saying it hurt minority voters.
Then this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Justice Department's ability to reject the law. Shortly after that, Attorney General Greg Abbott said photo ID requirements would “take effect immediately.”