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Vote In-Person

Vote Center Information

Voters in Harris County have the option to cast their ballot in-person at a participating Early Voting or Election Day Vote Center in an upcoming election. Vote Centers provide modern features to make voting safe, easy, and convenient.

Electioneering Prohibited

A violation of this provision in the Election Code is a Class C misdemeanor. Tex. Elec. Code §§ 61.003, 85.036.

Within the immediate vicinity of a person in line to cast their ballot or within 100 feet of the entrance of a vote center, curbside voting or drop box the following activities are prohibited.

What activities are prohibited?
Electioneering includes the posting, use, or distribution of political signs or literature. The term does not include the distribution of a notice of a party convention authorized under Tex. Elec. Code §§ 172.1114. Tex. Elec. Code §§ 61.004 also prohibits the use of sound amplification devices or a vehicle with a loudspeaker within 1,000 feet of a vote center for the purpose of making a political speech or electioneering for or against any candidate, measure, or political party.

Cell Phones and other wireless communications devices

Persons are not allowed to use wireless communications devices within 100 ft. of any Vote Center entrance. Additionally, people are not allowed to use electronic devices to record sound, images, or video within this 100 ft. boundary. Tex. Elec. Code §§ 61.014(a), 81.002.

What devices should not be used in the vote center?

- Cell phones

- Cameras

- Tablets

- Laptop computers

- Sound recorders

- Any other device that may communicate wirelessly, or be used to record sound or images.

What about voters with disabilities?

In recent years, advances in technology have allowed cell phones, tablets and other wireless communications devices to assist voters with disabilities. As an example, a voter may use a program/application on a cell phone to translate verbal communication into sign language, allowing the voter to understand communication by an election official. While this situation is not expressly addressed in the Election Code, an election judge or early voting clerk may use their authority to allow a voter utilization of these programs/applications at their discretion.

What about poll watchers, may they use these devices?

No. A poll watcher may not be accepted for service if the poll watcher has possession of a device capable of recording images or sound unless the poll watcher agrees to disable or deactivate the device. The early voting clerk or presiding judge, as appropriate, may inquire whether a poll watcher has possession of any prohibited recording devices before accepting the poll watcher for service. The poll watcher must sign an oath stating he or she does not have in his or her possession devices capable of recording images or sound, or that he or she will disable or deactivate the devices while serving as a watcher. Tex. Elec. Code §§ 33.006, et. seq.

What about election officials, may they use these devices?

Yes, if they are using the device to conduct official duties.

What if the vote center is also a business location where a person may be employed and needing to use a wireless communication device for employment related matters?

This is permissible if the person is acting in the course of the person’s employment.

What if a person enters the 100-foot area while using a wireless communications device or appearing to record sound/image?

The early voting clerk and the presiding judge have the authority to require persons to deactivate any such devices and further authority to require persons who do not comply to leave the early voting or election day vote center as appropriate.

What can’t I wear to the polls?

In Texas, a person may not wear apparel or a similar communicative device relating to a candidate, measure, or political party appearing on the ballot in the current election, but a person may wear such apparel relating to a candidate, measure, or political party that does NOT appear on the ballot in the current election.

In other words, if you are wearing a hat, t-shirt, or button relating to a candidate, measure or political party that does not appear on the ballot in the current election, you are not violating Texas law.

However, if you are wearing apparel relating to a candidate, measure, or political party on the ballot, a presiding judge has the ability to enforce the law within the 100-foot marker outside of the polling place entrance. You may be asked to remove or cover up your apparel before entering the building.

Written Materials

Voters are allowed to bring written materials into voting stations to assist them in casting their ballot. However, it is important to remember that the prohibition on electioneering within 100-feet of the vote center does apply to written materials. Election judges and early voting clerks may use their discretion in determining if a voter is electioneering for or against any candidate, measure or political party through the use of written materials.

Use of Firearms by Law Enforcement

Please note that Section 46.03(a) of the Texas Penal Code generally prohibits a person from bringing a firearm onto the premises of a vote center. However, this prohibition does not apply to a peace officer, regardless of whether the police officer is on or off duty. For this and other potentially applicable exceptions, see Tex. Pen. Code § 46.15.

How to Vote on the Ballot Marking Device

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