UVSA South Voter Guide

The information in this document is intended to provide basic information on voting and the bylaws surrounding voting in the individual states. Policies and Laws may change at any given moment, so please be diligent and do research into your respective precinct/county/state laws and procedures around voting. If you find any information to be inaccurate, inconsistent, or confusing please contact eboard@uvsasouth.org so we may change it. This guide is meant to be updated periodically as time goes on so any critique on how we can make the information more clear is always welcome!

Updated on 9/23/2020

Welcome to your guide on all things General Election 2020! Read over and share this document to make sure you are well prepared for the upcoming election!

This page will be updated as time goes on to reflect the most accurate information for the next election cycle. Please check the updated time stamp to ensure you're getting the most accurate information!

Voter Portals by State

Important Dates for the 2020 November General Election

Deadline to register to vote by state

Arkansas: October 5th, 2020

Texas: October 5th, 2020

Oklahoma: October 9th, 2020

Deadline to request an Absentee Ballot

Arkansas: October 27, 2020

Texas: October 23, 2020

Oklahoma: October 27, 2020

Deadline to RETURN an Absentee Ballot (must be in the hands of the elections office by this date)

Arkansas: November 2, 2020

Texas: November 4, 2020 by 5:00 PM CT

Oklahoma: November 3, 2020 before the polls close

Early Voting Period

Arkansas: October 19, 2020 – November 2, 2020

Texas: October 13, 2020 – October 30, 2020

Oklahoma: October 29, 2020 – October 31, 2020

2020 General Election

November 3rd, 2020

Texas and Oklahoma: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM CT

Arkansas: 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM CT

General Questions and Answers

When is the upcoming General Election?

Tuesday, November 3rd 2020 is when the 2020 Presidential General Election will take place, alongside several other key local races you should vote in.

Why should I vote?

Now more than ever, your vote really does matter. Through the electoral college system, only a few thousand votes in certain key districts were the difference during the last Presidential election. The young American and Asian American Pacific Islander demographic is GROSSLY underrepresented in politics. Show up to the polls and show elected officials that your vote matters!

Who is eligible to vote?

You can register to vote all year, but you must have already been registered to vote by the deadlines above in order to participate in the November Presidential General Election. In order to be eligible to vote, you must:

  • Be a US Citizen
  • Be a resident of the county you submitted your application to
  • Be at least 17 years and 10 months old, and be 18 years of age on Election Day
  • Not be a convicted felon (you may be eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence, probation, and parole depending on the state in which you reside) and/or
  • You have not been declared by a court exercising parole jurisdiction to either be totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote

Your registration is valid when you receive your voter registration card and/or certificate in the mail.

What do I need to do to vote?
  1. YOU MUST BE REGISTERED TO VOTE!
    If you are NOT registered to vote, go to the Registering to Vote portion of this guide
    • If you are unsure of your voter status, log into your state’s voter portal to check – links are at the top of this page.
  2. You must have a valid photo ID to present to the poll workers in person, or to include a photo copy of in an absentee ballot
  3. You must vote at your respective polling location for the county you live in. Use your state’s online Voter Portal to find your polling location!

If you’re a student, we recommend registering to vote at a place that you can permanently receive mail at (i.e. the home of your parents). If you wish to register in the county you are going to school at, you are welcome to do so but you can only be registered in one place at once.

What other elections are happening besides the US Presidential Election?

Every state, county, municipality, etc. will be having many smaller elections for positions such as judges, county clerks, city council, state legislature, and Congress. These elections are just as important, if not equally important for you to vote in. These individuals will be determining policies and laws that impact you specifically at a local level. Do. Your. Research. into the candidates and elections happening in your area.

Registering to Vote

Identifying Yourself at the Polls

Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas all require you to show a valid form of identification if you're voting at the polls in person.

All three states will send you a free Voter Identification Card in the mail, which can be used as valid identification at the polls if you do not otherwise have a valid Photo ID.

How to Vote

There are 3 primary ways you can vote:

For the upcoming election, the USPS postal service has stressed that you must return your absentee ballots as soon as you are able in order for them to deliver it in time. We recommend paying for extra fast shipping - paying priority mail etc with delivery confirmation - to ensure your vote is counted. Due to the influx of people wanting to vote absentee this year, there will be a lot of ballots that may not make it in time.
What is an Absentee Ballot?

An Absentee Ballot is a Ballot that is mailed to your address of residence for you to fill out and mail back before election day. This is a great way to participate in voting early, if you’re disabled and can’t make it to the polls, if you’re busy on election day, or you won’t be in town on election day where you’re registered to vote.

Texas does not allow absentee ballot without a clear reason as to why you are voting absentee. In 2020, COVID-19 and health concerns are apparently not a good enough reason.

You must have your absentee ballot in the hands of the election board BY election day before polls close. This means you must mail it back to them a few days prior to allow for the postal service to properly deliver it in time

How do I get an Absentee Ballot?

You must apply for an Absentee Ballot in advance. Links to your state’s respective absentee ballot pages and applications are below:

We strongly encourage you to walk your family members and friends through the process of requesting an absentee ballot to limit COVID-19 exposure at the polls this year!

In Arkansas, absentee voters must send a copy of a document or identification card, meeting the qualifications described in “Identifying yourself at the Polls” section above, with their voted absentee ballot in order to verify their voter registration. 


In Oklahoma, you must verify your identity when you submit an absentee ballot. That usually requires having your absentee ballot signed by a notary public (a service your local bank can provide for you sometimes for a small fee, or your workplace). In 2020 due to COVID-19, Oklahoma will accept a photocopy of the front of your ID.

In Texas, to be eligible to vote early by mail you must:

  • be 65 years or older;
  • be sick or disabled;
  • be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or
  • be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.
What is Early Voting?

Early voting is an approved period of time BEFORE election day, during which you can visit certain polling locations and cast your ballot early! Especially with COVID-19 being a concern this year, Early voting will have less people than At the Polls voting and could reduce your risk of being exposed. It is still an in person form of voting.

When is Early Voting?

ARKANSAS

OCTOBER 19, 2020 – NOVEMBER 2, 2020

Early voting begins for the General Election between the hours of 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday. Early voting ends at 5:00 pm on the Monday prior to the election

OKLAHOMA

OCTOBER 29, 2020 – OCTOBER 31, 2020

You can vote early at the County Election Board office in the county where you are registered to vote from 8 AM to 6 PM on Thursday and Friday before all elections. For state and federal elections only, early voting is available from 9 AM to 2 PM on the Saturday before the election.

TEXAS

OCTOBER 13, 2020 – OCTOBER 30, 2020

You can vote early at any Early Voting Site where you are registered to vote. You will be able to find early voting locations by using our search site Am I Registered?, which will be populated with voting sites a few days before early voting begins. Or, you may want to contact the Early Voting Clerk for State and County Elections in your county. Also, many newspapers publish early voting and election day polling locations, so you might be able to find the information there.

What do I need to bring?

You will need to bring your form of ID accepted by your state to verify your identity. Please see the “identifying yourself at the polls” section of this page!

BE SURE YOUR APPROVED FORM OF ID IS VALID AND NOT EXPIRED.

What is At the Polls Voting?

At the Polls or Going to the Polls voting means that you go in person to vote ON election day. You will stand in line, show your identification, and cast your vote that very same day. Usually, as long as you are in line you are guaranteed the opportunity to vote as long as you are in line before the official time the polls close.

When do polls open and close?

All polling locations in Texas and Oklahoma are open from 7 AM to 7 PM. In Arkansas, they are open from 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM. It is advised you go early to wait in line and allot as much time as possible to spend at the polls as lines get long. Tell your employer, professors, teachers, misc. that you intend to vote. They may give you time off to do that.

Where do I vote?

Polling Locations are broken down by precinct. Precincts are smaller zones within Counties, which are subdivisions of cities.

Texas – On your Voter Registration Certificate, there is a specific precinct number. Depending on the county you live in, you may be allowed to vote at any polling location in that county. Here is a list of Counties approved for the Countywide Polling Place Program [Link]. If you do not live within any of those counties in Texas, you will need to find your Polling Location which can be found here [Link].

Texas is currently setting up infrastructure to allow curbside voting for the 2020 General Election. Please follow your local news to learn more about these locations and if you are eligible to vote there.

Texas COVID-19 Polling Precautions Flyer

Oklahoma – You can only vote at your assigned polling place. To find out your assigned polling place, use the Voter Portal [Link] and log in using your last name, first name, and date of birth.

Arkansas – Some counties will allow you to cast your ballot at any vote center in the County. To find out if you live in one of those counties, or to check your vote center, use the Voter Portal link for Arkansas at the bottom of this page.

What do I need to bring?

You will need to bring your form of ID accepted by your state to verify your identity. Please see the “identifying yourself at the polls” section of this page!

BE SURE YOUR APPROVED FORM OF ID IS VALID AND NOT EXPIRED.

Important Information

In Texas, it is a Class C Misdemeanor to wear campaign gear to polling locations in Texas.

Resources

The Media is no stranger to political bias. Please consult this chart to make informed decisions about which sources to trust for accurate and balanced reporting for elections

Specific resources on Asian/Pacific Islander American Voting and registering to vote for your local VSA’s. Check it out for more information on AAPI voter statistics, register to vote, pledge to vote, and so much more!

Vietnamese American Voter Information and Voter Registration directory for all the states! Check and see if you’re registered to vote today. Provide your VSA and family with specifically Vietnamese resources on voter registration and voting!

UVSA South is not authorized to share or promote specific voter guides on candidates and their platforms. This is to ensure that we are not promoting or perpetuating political bias to our constituents. Please do your due diligence to research and find voter guides on candidates prior to voting.

Updated on 9/23/2020