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Exact name match NOT required for voting with photo ID

October 24, 2013
Contact: Alicia Pierce or Jeff Hillery
512/ 463-5770

AUSTIN, TX – Texas Secretary of State John Steen reminded voters today that when voting in person they will need to present a photo ID, but it is not necessary for the name on the ID and the name on the registration to match exactly.

“As long as the names are substantially similar, all a voter will have to do is initial to affirm he or she is the same person who is registered” said Secretary Steen. “Poll workers have been trained to account for names that might be substantially similar but not an exact match due to a number of circumstances including the use of nicknames, suffixes, and changes of name due to marriage or divorce.”

Early voting is currently taking place for the Nov. 5 election. This is the first statewide election with photo ID requirement in effect for in-person voting. Early voting ends Nov. 1.

Secretary Steen pointed out that the process has gone smoothly so far.

“We’re in our fourth day of early voting and have not heard any reports of any voter being turned away because the ID name and the registration name did not exactly match,” said Secretary Steen. “In fact, the numbers so far indicate the state is on track to beat turnout numbers from the last election of this kind in 2011.”

Secretary Steen also reminded voters that no one will be turned away from the polls because of photo ID.

“A voter without an approved form of photo ID will have the option to vote provisionally” said Secretary Steen. “A provisional voter will then have until the sixth day from Election Day to go to the county voter registrar to present an approved ID.”

Many Texans already have an approved form of photo ID. The seven forms of approved ID are:

  • Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States passport

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented at the polling place. For more information about voting in Texas, including the requirements of photo ID, visit www.VoteTexas.gov