Early voting begins for state laws and initiatives

Tabitha Fleming
Staff Writer

Early voting has begun in Hutchinson County and across the state of Texas. There are 3 polling places open in Hutchinson County for early voting:
The Hutchinson County Annex Building located at 100 Veta Street in Borger
The Hutchinson County Court House located at 500 Main Street in Stinnett
The Fritch Library Community Room located at 205 North Cornell Avenue in Fritch
Each of the early voting polling places is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Like all county offices the polling stations are closed on Fridays. Early voting began on October 19, and will run through October 29.
“I encourage voters to take full advantgae of the convenience of voting early,” said Secretary of State Carlos H. Cascos. “I also want to remind voters that there is still a requirement to present a photo ID when voting in person.”
Texas' photo ID requirements have been in place for the past five statewide elections. To cast a ballot in person, voters should present one of the following approved forms of photo ID:
1. Texas Driver License – issued by the Department of Public Safety (DPS)
2. Texas Personal Identification Card – issued by DPS
3. Texas Concealed Handgun License – issued by DPS
4. United States Military Identification card containing the person’s photograph
5. United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
6. United States Passport – issued by the U.S. government
7. Election Identification Certificate – issued free by DPS
In almost all cases, voters voting by mail will not need to present a photo ID. Texans age 65 and older and people with disabilities are automatically qualified to vote by mail. The last day to request a ballot by mail in time for the November 3 Election is Friday, Oct. 23.
Any citizen who does not have an approved ID can apply for a free Election Identification Certificate (“EIC”) at:
1. Any of the more than 220 Texas driver license offices during regular business hours;
2. Select driver license offices on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.;
3. EIC mobile station locations;
4. Alternate approved locations issuing only EICs in select counties.
If a citizen needs a certified copy of a birth certificate in order to obtain an Election Identification Certificate, that birth certificate can be obtained for free.
The United States system of voting remains a bastion among free countries where citizens have the right and freedom to make choices for their own governance. Voting as such, has been touted by many political figures as a not only a right but a necessity. Once such champion of voting was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who famously said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves; and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”