Local voters can get election IDs at mobile sites two days this week

Posted Sunday, Sep. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Mobile Election ID stations in Tarrant County Today, four mobile offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: • Tarrant County Public Health Department, 1101 S. Main St. in Fort Worth • Tarrant County Southwest Subcourthouse, 6551 Granbury Road in Fort Worth • City of Arlington South Service Center, 1100 SW Green Oaks Blvd. • Gertrude Tarpley — JPS Health Center at Watauga, 6601 Watauga Road On Tuesday, four mobile offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: • JPS Health Center — Viola M. Pitts Como, 4701 Bryant Irvin Road N. in Fort Worth • Diamond Hill/Jarvis Branch Library, 1300 NE 35 St. in Fort Worth • Griffin Subcourthouse, 3212 Miller Ave. in Fort Worth • Tarrant County Subcourthouse in Arlington, 700 E. Abram St. Source: Texas Secretary of State’s Office Driver’s license locations Voters may get Election Identification Certificates at driver’s license offices statewide through Nov. 5. Five local driver’s license offices are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 2 solely for Texans seeking Election Identification Certificates. Here are the Tarrant County offices open for this purpose: • Arlington office, 3901 W. Arkansas Lane No. 111. 817‐274‐1818 • Fort Worth Mega Center, 8301 Brentwood Stair Road. 817‐285‐1900 • Fort Worth south office, 6413 Woodway Drive. 817‐294‐1075 • Hurst office, 624 NE Loop 820. 817‐299‐1426 • Lake Worth office, 6316 Lake Worth Blvd. 817‐238‐9197 Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

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Election officials will be in Tarrant County for two days this week to help local voters get the ID cards they’ll need to cast ballots in November’s election.

Mobile stations will be set up in four locations today and tomorrow for Texans who don’t already have photo ID to present at the polls.

“It’s a great thing to bring that service closer to the people who might need it,” said Steve Raborn, Tarrant County’s election administrator. “We hear there are some people who might not have proper identification for voting.

“This is a great opportunity to get that before the election.”

The Nov. 5 election will be the first statewide election in which Texans are required to show their photo IDs because of a law passed by the Republican-led state Legislature two years ago.

Many Texans already have the photo identification they need to vote — a Texas driver’s license, personal identification card, election identification certificate, concealed handgun license, military ID with photo, U.S. citizenship certificate with photo or a U.S. passport, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

Those ID cards must be up to date, or no more than 60 days expired.

For those who don’t have photo identification, state lawmakers stipulated that a newly created Election Identification Certificate — which is similar to a driver’s license or state ID card, but is only good for casting ballots — would be issued for free to any voter who needs it.

So far, only 10 of these cards has been issued statewide, according to Texas Department of Public Safety data.

Normally, Texans who need the election ID would go to a driver’s license office to get their cards. Several of these offices are open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Nov. 2 just for Election Identification Certificates.

The temporary mobile stations, which will be manned by state election and public safety workers, are geared to make it easier and more convenient for those who need the cards to get them.

“Texans now have several different options to obtain an EIC if they don’t already have the necessary photo identification to cast their vote,” said Cynthia Leon, chairwoman of the Texas Public Safety Commission.

To get the Election Identification Certificate, Texans need to show proof of citizenship and identity, such as a birth certificate, plus two other forms of identification that could include school records, insurance policies, vehicle or boat title or registration, Social Security cards, pilot’s licenses or marriage licenses. They also need to bring a valid voter registration card.

These cards are good for six years. Cards issued to Texans 70 years old and older have no expiration dates, according to the DPS.

Anyone voting by mail does not have to submit a photo ID. Anyone with a documented disability may apply at their county voter registrar for a permanent exemption from the requirement, election officials say.

And anyone showing up at the polls to vote who doesn’t have a photo ID is given a chance to go home and bring their ID back.

If they don’t, they may cast a provisional ballot. But to make sure that vote is counted, they’ll have to take a valid photo ID to the elections office within six days after the election. If they don’t, the ballot will not be counted, Raborn said.

Early voting for the November election starts Oct. 21.

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610 Twitter: @annatinsley

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