Early voting begins Tuesday; Local, state and federal seats on ballot

MGN Online

Early voting begins Tuesday for the March 3 primary elections and there are plenty of local races on the ballot to get registered voters out to the polls.

Several Cameron County seats are up for grabs including that of county sheriff, district clerk and justices of the peace just to name a few. In addition, there are state and federal positions on the ballot as well including that of president.

Cameron County has more than 212,000 registered voters, and officials hope all will participate in the electoral process.

“We want to encourage people to participate in early voting so they can have the time they need when it is convenient to actually go to the poll and vote and to take the time they need to review the full ballot,” said Remi Garza, administrator of the Cameron County Election and Voter Registration Department.

Garza said both the Democratic and Republican ballots have resolutions on them that both parties are presenting to their constituents. The ballots are available to view online.

Different from this year because of state law passed last year, there will only be 17 early voting locations. Early voting locations in smaller communities have been eliminated, Garza said.

“They need to check their locations and make sure that where they think there is a polling site that it is there. We are setting up redirection signs,” to assist them but they should check the locations in advance to find the one that is nearest to the voter, Garza said.

He also urges voters to review their voter registration cards to make sure all their information is updated.

Garza said he anticipates the early voting numbers to mimic those of the 2016 March primary elections. There were over 16,000 people that took advantage of early voting and 14,000 people who voted on Election Day.

“We are hoping it is going to be higher than that just because of the general trend in elections that we have held since then has been increasing in small increments,” Garza said.

People planning to vote will need to provide a form of photo identification.

Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID provided by the Texas Secretary of State’s Office:

>>Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety

>>Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS

>>Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS

>>Texas 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 (book or card)

According to the secretary of state, if a voter does not have a photo identification, the following information may be provided:

>>copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter’s voter registration certificate;

>>copy of or original current utility bill;

>>copy of or original bank statement;

>>copy of or original government check;

>>copy of or original paycheck; or

>>copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document).

After presenting one of the forms of supporting ID listed above, the voter must execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

For more information, call the Cameron County Voter Registration and Elections Office at (956) 544-0809.

lmartinez@brownsvilleherald.com