The League of Women Voters of Texas has an updated voter guide for 2016. If you got the printed version, there have been some minor changes. You can download the PDF.
LWV also have a web site where you can get personalized information about who’s on your ballot ahead of time. Just go to vote411.org and enter your address.
There’s been a massive jump in early voting in Austin. Accordingly, expect to wait in line. There’s a web page which will show you how bad the wait is at Travis County polling locations. As long as you’re registered in Travis County, you can vote at any location in Travis County.
A few other things to be aware of, given that we’re in the closest of swing states:
🔷 There’s misinformation swirling around on the Internet. Be very careful of believing anything you read that isn’t from an official reputable source, such as a Texas state government web site. Accordingly, I’m providing links so you can verify the things I’m posting here.
🔷 Poll watchers are officials who are selected by political parties or candidates, and certified by the Secretary of State. They must wear an ID badge at all times. They are not permitted to talk to voters — if they see something suspicious, their job is simply to notify the designated election officers of the problem. Self-appointed poll watchers are not allowed, and should be reported. You can verify that this is true via the official guide for poll watchers.
🔷 Texas law prohibits “electioneering” within 100′ of a polling place. In the past people have been turned away because they wore T-shirts showing pro-2nd Amendment slogans, pictures of Barack Obama, and other images or words perceived as favoring particular candidates. So, if you want to be sure you will get to cast your vote, wear plain clothing with no overt messages.
🔷 If you are a registered voter, but you do not have suitable voter ID because you could not reasonably obtain it in time for the election, you can still vote. You’ll need to fill out a declaration stating that you could not reasonably obtain suitable ID, and present some documentation supporting that you are who you claim — the LWV voter guide (see first link above) has a full list of allowed documents. Poll workers are not allowed to question you as to why you were unable to obtain voter ID, nor are they allowed to challenge the truthfulness of your declaration. To verify that this is true, see slide 12 of the Secretary of State’s training presentation for poll workers.
🔷 If you find yourself being unjustly denied the right to vote, you can call the National Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.
🔷 Some Texas locations are still showing incorrect information about voter ID requirements. If you see a poster saying that you must present photo ID, and failing to note the options available to people who could not reasonably obtain photo ID, then you should report it.
Now get out there and vote!