The ability to vote is one of the most important rights American citizens have to let their voices be heard and contribute to our democracy. Since the midterms had just passed, the presidential election is only a couple of years away and the fate of our country is solely in the hands of each and everyone one of us (over 18 years of age, of course).
Many people assume that felons cannot vote in Texas and other states across the nation. However, they actually have the opportunity to regain their voting rights—once certain conditions are met.
In Texas, voting rights of felons are automatically restored when all forms of supervised release forms are completed or a pardon is obtained. Those convicted of felonies cannot vote while incarcerated, on probation, or on parole.
In order to re-register, the process is fast and easy. Ex-felons can obtain a voter application from their county voter’s registrar’s office, the Secretary of State’s office, the post office, and the public library. They can deliver a completed application by mail or deliver it by hand to the same office at least 30 days before a scheduled election to participate.
Texas voters must present a personal ID number issued by the DPS, a state driver’s license, or the last four digits of their Social Security number. If an ex-felon does not have any of these forms, they can also use a state election ID certificate, voter registration certificate, a state personal ID from the DPS, a U.S. military ID, a U.S. passport, and even a concealed carry license.
To determine eligibility, the DPS sends data regarding those who have a final conviction to the Texas Secretary of State, which then compares the information to all registered voters. Voters that matched are sent a written notice of investigation, warning them if they fail to respond in 30 days, they will not be allowed to vote.