Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash


Question: What if my name doesn’t match the name on my ID?

Answer: Poll workers are required to make a determination of whether the voter’s name matches with the list of registered voters in the pollbook. Your name must only be “substantially similar.”

  • Examples of substantially similar names from the SOS’s website: maiden names (Beyoncé Knowles is similar to Beyoncé Carter), unlisted middle names (Neil Harris is similar to Neil Patrick Harris), middle initials (Lyndon B. Johnson is similar to Lyndon Baines Johnson), customary versions of names (Sam Houston is similar to Samuel Houston, Esperanza Andrade is similar to Hope Andrade), and slightly different names (Marc Cuban is similar to Mark Cuban, Jamie Fox is similar to Jamie Foxx).

If a voter’s name does not match exactly but is substantially similar, the voter must be able to vote, but may have to sign a document stating you are the person that you claim to be.

If someone is turned away because their name is “not similar,” please ask for help.


This information was written by Louis A. Bedford IV to provide Texans with updated information regarding their rights and the law as they vote in 2022. It is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace legal advice.

Mollie Finch Belt is the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Dallas Examiner. She attended elementary school in Tuskegee, Ala.; Cambridge, Mass.; and Dallas, Texas. In 1961, she graduated from...

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