This is it, folks: Election Day, November 8, is tomorrow. We're going to assume that by now, you already know who you're going to vote for in the presidential race. But that's not the only vote you should know about on Tuesday: A number of other elected officials' jobs are on the line—including those of some local City Council members. And let's not forget we have that ginormous transportation bond to ponder.
If you haven't already done so (and we know a lot of you did), you'll find everything you need to know about voting on Nov. 8 (again: tomorrow!), from when polls are open to what not to do in the voting booth.
When to vote
Polls open 7 a.m. for voting and close at 7 p.m. A voter who has not voted before the time for closing the polls is entitled to vote after that time if the voter is inside or waiting to enter the polling place at 7 p.m. And yes, you're guaranteed the right to take time from work to vote—Texas law mandates that, assuming that an employee has not already voted in early voting, the employee is entitled to take paid time off for voting on election days, unless the employee has at least two consecutive hours to vote outside of the voter's working hours.
Be warned: If early voting in other states is any indication, there will likely be long lines at the polls on Tuesday. Plan accordingly!
Where to vote
Unlike with early voting, on Election Day, you must vote in the precinct where you are registered. If you're unsure of where your polling place is located, fret not: there are a few ways to find out where you need to go. You can go to VOTE11.org, input your address, and find out where to vote. Your county election official knows where you vote and what's on your ballot. Google also has a handy widget that lets you find that information, which you can do below:
What to take with you
First of all, the following are required to vote in Texas:
• Be registered to vote in Texas. Check if you're registered to vote.
• Be a US citizen
• Be 18 by Election Day, Nov. 8
• Live at a Texas address
• Not be serving a sentence (including parole) for a felony conviction
• Not have been determined by a court to be (1) totally mentally incapacitated; or (2) partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
Got all that? Here's what you need to vote in person at the polls:
If you have one, bring one of the following. The ID must be current or be expired for fewer than four years:
• Texas driver license issued by the Department of Public Safety
• Texas election ID certificate
• Texas personal ID card
• Texas license to carry a handgun
• US military ID card with your photograph
• US citizenship certificate containing your photograph (doesn't need to be current)
• US passport
If you don't have any of these, you'll need to (1) sign a sworn statement that there is a reason why you don't have any of the IDs listed above, and (2) bring one of the following:
• Valid voter registration certificate
• Certified birth certificate
• Current utility bill
• Government check
• Paystub or bank statement that includes your name and address
• Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph).
What to do if you're harassed while voting
It's not exactly a pleasant thing to think about, but considering the fervor surrounding this election, there's a chance—however minuscule—that there may be instances of voter intimidation on Tuesday.
Voter intimidation and harassment is illegal. If you see harassment, deceptive information, or other suspicious behavior at the polls, report it to:
• The nearest election worker
• Your local municipal clerk or the chief elections inspector at your polling place
• The U.S. Department of Justice Voting Rights Hotline: 800-253-3931; TTY line 877-267-8971
• The Election Protection Hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE or 888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
• Advancement Project Voter Protection: 202-728-9557 or email@example.com
Poll watchers are allowed to observe inside the polling places, but they cannot:
• Speak to you, ask you for ID, or interact directly with you in any way;
• Watch you vote at the voting station (unless you ask for assistance from an election officer);
• Directly challenge your vote or even speak with the election judges or clerks about the election;
• Use a cell phone or other wireless communication device in polling place or carry any recording devices (video or sound) or wear a name tag.
What to do with your phone while you're voting
Put it away (and turn it off). Not only are voting selfies, as in much of the country, forbidden, but Texas' Election Code also states that voters cannot use a "wireless communication device within 100 feet of a voting station." If you need a reminder list of down-ballot choices, you'll have to take it in on paper or some other non-wireless device.
What about wearing my "I'm With Her" T-shirt?
Texas law prohibits "electioneering" within 100 feet of the voting site. That includes the display of partisan paraphernalia on one's bod, and people have been turned away for doing so (and, presumably, refusing to cover them up). So if you're planning on wearing a Hillary button or a "Make America Great Again" hat to the polls, be prepared to be asked to remove them, or to cover up a tee. (But no one's going to stop you from wearing a pantsuit, if you so choose.)