Voting 101

Information Available from the League of Women Voters

  • Are you 18 or older and not sure how to vote?
  • Are you concerned that your vote doesn’t count?
  • Can your vote be hacked in Smith County?
  • What the heck is the Electoral College and why should I care?
  • Don’t know where and when to vote?

If you answered yes to any of these important questions, the League of Women Voters can help!  Your elected officials make many decisions that affect you DAILY!  Come learn your role in electing people who will work on your behalf.

The League of Women Voters of Tyler/Smith County wants area residents to feel secure when they vote for local, state, and federal candidates. LWV-Tyler/Smith County offers the Voting 101 class to help voters of all ages through the maze of how the voting process works, how to get to know the candidates, and where to find unbiased information about ballot issues.

The League of Women Voters is a non-profit, non-partisan political and educational volunteer organization that does not support or oppose any candidate or party  Our mission is to encourage informed and active participation in government, to work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy.

The League assists the public in understanding how government works, and we believe that each citizen should be protected in his right to vote.

For more information on having this presentation at your location, contact the League at

The League provides the basics of voting – a very important right for every citizen!


Voter ID Goes Back to Court

Appeals Court, 2-1, Gives Texas OK to Use New Voter ID Law SB 5 Voters must execute a declaration that they face a reasonable impediment to vote without photo 

A divided federal appeals court has stayed a lower judge's ruling barring Texas from implementing a revised version of its voter identification law. A panel of the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted, 2-1, to allow Texas to use the revised voter ID measure known as SB 5 beginning next year. In the meantime, interim rules used in 2016 will be in effect, the appeals court declared.

"The State has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits. SB 5 allows voters without qualifying photo ID to cast regular ballots by executing a declaration that they face a reasonable impediment to obtaining qualifying photo ID. This declaration is made under the penalty of perjury," Judges Jerry Smith and Jennifer Elrod wrote in a joint order Tuesday. "The State has made a strong showing that this reasonable-impediment procedure remedies plaintiffs’ alleged harm and thus forecloses plaintiffs’ injunctive relief."

The decision faulted U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos for going beyond the scope of a previous 5th Circuit ruling, based on a 4th District Court ruling that North Carolina's voter ID law was based on race. Graves added that preserving the status quo would mean returning to the procedures used during last year's elections, rather than letting Texas go through with the process set up by the new law. Those procedures include voters presenting any of the following:

Besides the ID already authorized, listed below, the following have been added:

  • valid voter registration certificate 
  • certified birth certificate 
  • current utility bill·
  • bank statement
  • government check;
  • paycheck
  • any other government document that displays your name and an address as proof of who you are

 Also if you use any of these new ID's, you must also complete and sign a reasonable impediment declaration. This form will be provided to you if you should need it at the polling location. 

The reasonableness of your impediment to obtaining the previously required ID shall not be questioned by election officials.

Other acceptable IDs

  • 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


List of Required Documents

MC910217053 (2)

Photo ID Still Needed for March 6 Primary Elections

Voters should bring their voter registration certificate or other identification to the polls, along with a valid photo ID.

 Although  Texas faces a legal showdown in federal court over the new voter photo ID law passed by the Legislature. The law still faces claims that it discriminates against minority voters.

“We objected to a photo ID requirement in Texas because it would have had a disproportionate impact on Hispanic voters,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder explained to a conference of black clergy in a speech about the continued need of protections under the Voting Rights Act. 

Read more:

LWV-TSC sponsored "Voting Matters," a presentation to help people in our area understand the new voting regulations and also to strategize about ways to help people secure their photo IDs if they need assistance.


Voting Matters

High School and College Campus Voter Registration Campaigns

See schedule here

To help, contact: OR

Texas ranks last among the states in the percentage of people who are eligible to vote who actually do vote. Though Smith County’s record is slightly higher than the state average, it is still dismal. The passage of a photo ID regulation adds even more difficulty to the task of registering, informing, and motivating voters to vote. 

Those voters just reaching voting age are among the least motivated to vote. A July 1 New York Times article reporting on a recent Gallup poll projects, "Among all 18- to 29-year-olds, the poll found a high level of undecided voters; 30 percent indicated that they had not yet made up their mind. And turnout among this group is expected to be significantly lower than for older voters." For full story:

The High School Registration Project is one strategy LWV-TSC will undertake in 2012-2013 to improve these statistics. The plan calls for convening a community coalition of several organizations to organize and implement a county-wide approach to engaging young voters. This project will make good use of the experiences of the LWV High School Registration Pilot Project in 2010 and the excellent manual developed on the basis of those research findings.

In addition to registering students to vote, this project will also assist those who do not have government issued photo IDs, now mandated by state law, to secure them. Furthermore, the project will recruit student volunteers to help family and friends register and vote.

Please volunteer to help ensure that young people in this area understand that voting is important and help prepare them to take an active part in civic life.

Election Calendar

Calendar: November 5,  2019 Amendments Election

Oct. 7—Last Day to Register to Vote

Oct. 21-Nov. 1—Early Voting

Oct. 26—Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail

Nov. 5—Last Day Ballot by Mail May Be Received.

Nov. 5—Election Day 


Voter ID FAQs

Photo ID Required

Photo ID Required for the March 6 Election

MC910217053 (2)Voters will be required to show a photo ID in order to vote in November. You must now present one of the following forms of photo ID when voting in person:

-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

 ID must have expired no more than 60 days before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. 

For more information, read this document from the Texas Secretary of State. 

When You Go to Austin...

A Guide to the 85th Texas Legislature

Link to the Current Capitol Guide


Electing the President: A Guide to the Election Process

Download this informative, easy-to-understand 16-page guide. Excellent for use with students, clubs and organizations, or to help keep score over the course of the campaign. To download, click here.