Voter Registration Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I contact your office?
- The telephone number for the Harris County Voter Registration Department is (713) 274-8200. We are located at 1001 Preston, 2nd Floor, Room 200, in Downtown Houston. Many of our Tax Office substations are able to serve you, without the need for you to go downtown. To find the Tax Office location nearest you, go to our Office Locations Page. Also, e-mail us and we'll respond to your request as soon as possible. Our mailing address is: Ann Harris Bennett, Tax Assessor-Collector, P.O. Box 3527, Houston, Texas, 77253-3527.
Q. Who is eligible to register to vote in Harris County elections?
According to the Secretary of State's office, to be eligible to register to vote in Texas, you must:
- be a United States citizen;
- be a resident of Harris County;
- be 18 years old (you may register at 17 years and 10 months of age);
- not be a convicted felon (unless your sentence is completed, including any probation or parole); and
not have been determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be:
- totally mentally incapacitated; or
- partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
- According to the Secretary of State's office, to be eligible to register to vote in Texas, you must:
Q. Where can I get a voter registration application?
- Voter Registration Applications are available at our office downtown, or at any of our other branch locations throughout Harris County. They are also available at many libraries, post offices, Texas Department of Public Safety offices and offices of the Health and Human Services Commission in Harris County. Additionally, you may obtain an application by:
Q. How soon before an election can I register and be able to vote?
You may register to vote at any time:
- Complete a postage-free post card application and mail it, or take it in person to any Harris County Tax Office location.
- You must be at least 17 years and ten months of age on the date your application is submitted.
- Your application must be submitted 30 days before the election date for you to be eligible to vote in that election.
- Your spouse, parent or child (acting as an agent) may complete and sign a voter registration application for you, provided that this person is a registered voter, or has applied for voter registration.
- If any of the information on the application is incomplete, you will be notified and required to send a second application. The second application must be received by the Harris County Voter Registrar within 10 days of the notice date.
- You may register to vote at any time:
Q. After I have registered, when will I receive my Voter Registration Certificate?
- You will receive a Voter Registration Certificate within 30 days. Check your certificate to make sure all information is correct. If there is a mistake, immediately make corrections and return the certificate to the registrar. You will receive a color-coded certificate every two years.
Q. What do I do if I have changed my address, but still live in Harris County?
- Promptly notify the Harris County Voter Registrar in writing of your new address by:
- Your spouse, parent or child (acting as an agent) may complete and sign a change of address form for you, provided that this person is a registered voter, or has applied for registration.
- You will receive a new, corrected certificate.
- You will be able to vote with your new precinct information 30 days after your notice has been received.
- Meanwhile: You may vote a full ballot with your former precinct information if your registration has not become effective with your new precinct information.
- You must notify the Harris County Voter Registrar of your change of address as soon as possible.
Q. And if I move to another county in the State of Texas?
- You must re-register. Complete an application and mail it or take it in person to the voter registrar of your new county.
- You will receive a new certificate.
You may be eligible to vote a limited ballot in your new county of residence after moving if:
- you would have been eligible to vote in your former county on election day;
- you were registered to vote in a former county when you moved; and
- your registration in the new county is not yet effective.
- If you vote a limited ballot, you may vote on all statewide offices and propositions and for all district offices which are common to your new and former counties of residence.
- You must apply for a limited ballot and vote by personal appearance with the early voting clerk conducting the election in your new county during the early voting period which generally begins on the 17th day and continues through the 4th day before an election, or by mail if you are eligible to vote by mail.
Q. My name has changed. Can I still vote?
Yes, you may continue to vote. Promptly notify the voter registrar in writing of the name change by:
- correcting the information on your current voter registration certificate and returning it to the voter registrar; or
- completing a voter registration change form (contact the Harris County Voter Registrar or the Secretary of State's office for a form).
- Your spouse, parent or child (acting as an agent) may complete sign a change of name for you, provided that this person is a registered voter or has applied for registration.
- You will receive a new, corrected certificate 30 days after your notice is received.
- Yes, you may continue to vote. Promptly notify the voter registrar in writing of the name change by:
Q. How do I get the voter registration cancelled if my family member is deceased?
Did you receive any one of the following document types?
- Address Confirmation Form
- Voter Registration Certificate
- Jury Summons
- Write the voter's name (if not pre-printed) on the form,
- Write “deceased” across the front of the form,
- Sign your name, and
- Record your relationship to the voter beside your name (i.e. husband, wife, son, daughter, etc.)
- Return the notice to our office. This voter registration record can now be cancelled.
Send a sworn statement to the Voter Registrar that the person is deceased:
- Include the name of the voter, registration address, and date of birth
- Sign your name, and record your relationship to the voter beside your name (i.e. husband, wife, son, daughter, etc.)
Mail to the Harris County Voter Registrar:
Ann Harris Bennett
Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector
1001 Preston, Room 200
Houston, TX 77002
- This voter registration record can now be cancelled.
Send an original or certified copy of the Certificate of Death to our office and include in your correspondence:
- Name of deceased voter,
- Voter's residence address on the registration,
- Voter's date of birth, and
- Your name and residence address.
- This voter registration record can now be cancelled.
After cancellation of the voter registration, we will:
- Record the Certificate of Death in the voter's file, and
- Return the original Certificate of Death to the sender. (Don't forget to include your name and address in your correspondence.)
- Did you receive any one of the following document types?
Q. What does the term "suspense" mean on a voter's record?
- A "suspense voter" is a voter known to have an incorrect or outdated address. The county has sent the voter a form to obtain a current residence address, but no response has been received. The voter is, however, considered to be an active voter for voting purposes. A voter with this designation will be removed from suspense status once the voter has advised the Harris County Voter Registrar of his or her current residence address. It is important for our office to receive the current residence address, not only so that our records will be accurate, but to ensure the voter receives a proper ballot. Please contact our office at (713) 274-8200 for more information.
Q. What happens to voters put on suspense?
- In order to maintain the accuracy of the voter roll, voters put on suspense who have not provided the voter registrar with a new Harris County address are to be removed from the voter roll in accordance with Sec. 16.032 of the Election Code. The Election Code specifies that a suspended voter is to be removed (purged) from the voter roll on the November 30, of the even year after the voter has been on suspense for two general elections. The voter registrar maintains a list of suspended voters purged from the voter roll.
Q. Where can I find information about the voter identification requirements?
- You can find more information about the voter identification requirements here: Voter Identification Requirements