GATESVILLE — Central Texas voters casting early ballots this week are not bothered by the requirement to show a photo ID, said election officials in Coryell, Bell and Lampasas counties.
Under a new state law, registered Texas voters must show one of seven accepted forms of photo identification before they are allowed to cast their ballot. Any voter who does not have a proper ID can cast a provisional ballot and provide proper ID within six days.
Early voting in the 2013 general election, which started Oct. 21 and ends Friday, is the first test of the new voter ID law.
“We have had no complaints, no one turned away, no provisional ballots and no one has left (the polling place) to get their ID,” said Coryell County Tax Assessor/Collector Justin Carothers, the county’s top election official.
Carothers estimated the first week of early votes to reach about 600, half of the 1,200 early ballots he expects will be cast this election.
“We are checking daily with the poll officials to get the response,” Bell County Clerk Shelley Coston said. “So far, we have had no negative feedback.”
Lampasas County Elections Administrator Randy McGuire said voters in his county have not had snags with the photo ID.
“We have had no problems, none,” McGuire said. “Not even a provisional ballot.”
Most voters in the three counties are presenting a Texas driver’s license or a U.S. military ID card, the officials said. Carothers said one Coryell County voter used a U.S. passport for identification.
In addition to those three types of photo identification, voters may present an election identification certificate, a personal identification card or concealed handgun license — all issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety — or a U.S. citizenship certificate with photo.
Another new twist to voting in Coryell County is the exclusive use of electronic voting machines with no paper-ballot option at the polls. Paper ballots are still available for absentee voting by mail.
Carothers said no voters have expressed a concern with the voting machines during early voting.
All voters in Coryell County are weighing in on nine proposed state constitutional amendments, while some voters will decide council elections in Gatesville and Copperas Cove and a bond proposal for a new fire station in Copperas Cove.