Southwest Austin - Dripping Springs Edition - October 2021


Texans return to the polls Nov. 2

Looking ahead In July, Texas’ voting systemmade national news after Democratic legislators left the state to protest an elections bill. That legislation—Senate Bill 1— passed during the second special session, was signed into law by Abbott on Sept. 7. It does not go into eect until 2022. As such, there are no changes during this election. In 2022, the law will prevent DeBeauvoir’s oce from instituting measures such as 24-hour voting or drive-thru voting. Travis County does not oer these measures, nor were there any immediate plans to do so. “We never tried to test the law. We were never in the position to have something taken away from us,” DeBeauvoir said. DeBeauvoir said most of the changes will aect individual voters. She suggests voters prepare early for any changes they may experience during the 2022 midterms. “We are going to do everything we can to help the voters be safe in the polls and access every right legally aorded to them,” DeBeauvoir said.

• Check your registration and ensure all data is accurate • Locate your approved ID • Check your sample ballot and research ahead of time PREPARE TO VOTE: T I P S F R O M D E B E A U V O I R Voters who cannot obtain an acceptable form of photo ID due to a reasonable impediment may present a supporting form of identication and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. *ISSUED BY THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY • Texas concealed handgun license • U.S. military ID card with photo • Texas personal ID card • Texas Election Identication Certicate* P H O T O I D R E Q U I R E D Texas voters are required to present a form of photo identication before they may cast their ballots. • Texas driver’s license* • U.S. citizenship certicate with photo • U.S. passport


people voting by mail will have one day—Election Day—to return their completed mail-in ballots in-person, instead of the 16 allowed last year. DeBeauvoir said those additional days were allowed early in the pandemic under a disaster declaration led by Gov. Greg Abbott. That declaration has since expired. To return a ballot, it must already be lled out—this is the dierence between allowing ballot drop o and drive-thru voting, which is not allowed under new election laws and is not oered in Travis County. DeBeauvoir encourages anyone who is late mailing their mail-in ballot, or concerned about mailing it, to hang on to it until Election Day, then bring it to the clerk’s oce at 5501 Airport Blvd., Austin. “If you have any doubts or if you wait too late, that is your opportunity to correct your dallying,” DeBeauvoir said. “I don’t blame [late voters] one bit; we would be happy to accept hand delivery of an already voted ballot.”

Texans will head to the polls to decide on eight constitutional amendments and other local elections or initiatives on Nov. 2. As Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir prepares to run the county’s election, Community Impact Newspaper caught up with her to nd out what voters should expect. This election For voters who have already experienced casting their ballot during the pandemic, this election will not be much dierent, DeBeauvoir said. DeBeauvoir said her oce thought there was a chance this election would look more like normal, but “when delta hit us, it sent us back to square one.” Voters will be required to social distance. Poll workers will be provided with protective gear and will clean polling stations regularly. One change voters will notice is




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