We are about a month away from early voting in Texas for this year’s presidential election and vital information regarding recent changes to the state’s controversial voter ID law are largely absent from county websites.
According to research from the League of Women Voter of Texas, as of the end of August 2016, only a fifth of county websites in Texas provided "at least minimally adequate information" about the state's newly relaxed voter identification requirements ahead of Election Day in November.
Grace Chimene, led a project combing through the state’s 242 existing county websites – the League of Women Voters' survey found 12 counties don't have websites altogether. But, Chimene says it's “disappointing” only 20 percent of counties have this information available on their websites.
“They really need to step up,” she says.
A federal appeals court ruled in July that the state’s voter ID law made it harder for minorities to vote. So, the state was forced the relax its rules.
A federal judge in Corpus Christi also ordered that state officials educate voters about the changes to the law ahead of the election.
The state used to require voters one of seven acceptable photo IDs. However, now voters who don't have one of those seven forms of photo identification can sign a document saying they had trouble getting a photo ID and show these forms of ID at the polls:
- voter registration certificate
- birth certificate (original)
- utility bill
- bank statement
- government check
- original government document with a name and address
Eliane Wiant, the President of the League, says the state is quickly running out of time to let voters know these changes because the state’s Oct. 11 voter registration deadline is less than a month away.
“If they don’t think they are going to be able to vote, they have no incentive to register to vote and that deadline is coming up quick,” she says.
Chimene says a lot of county level election officials are taking their cues from the state – so, she says, the Texas Secretary of State’s office should do something about this.
“They just need to really show leadership in encouraging the counties to provide the right information on their websites."
You can view a full breakdown of the League of Women Voters survey below.