Yemen: Education under threat as conflict shuts schools, teachers not paid for a year, warns UNICEF

18 October 2017 – The conflict in Yemen &#8211 now into its third year &#8211 continues to take a toll on millions of children, with their education now under threat, adding to an already long list of bitter hardships including malnutrition, displacement and violence, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned.

&#8220As of July 2017, 1,600 schools have been partially or totally destroyed, and 170 have been used for military purposes or as shelter for displaced families,&#8221 said Geert Cappelaere, the UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, in a statement today.

The violence has forced one in ten schools across the country to close, and textbooks and other school materials are in severely short supply, he added, noting that the beginning of the school year has been postponed several times from its usual September start.

Adding to the crisis is the fact that three-quarters of the teachers in Yemen have not been paid in nearly a year, compelling them to resort to extreme measures to survive.

One such case is that of Hassan Ghaleb, a teacher for the past 20 years and the sole breadwinner for his family of four, who was evicted from his home with his children.

He had to sell what was left of his furniture just to feed them and treat his sick sister.

&#8220How can [they] teach if [they themselves are] in need?&#8221 questions UNICEF, noting that over 166,000 teachers across the war-torn country are in a similar situation.

The children of Yemen have suffered in ways that no human being should have to bear. Education is their only way to secure a better future

Lack of education and the protective environment provided by a school is not only robbing the children of some semblance of a normal childhood, it is also leaving them vulnerable to recruitment into fighting or early marriage.

&#8220Ongoing humanitarian efforts are only a drop in the ocean of suffering that Yemen has become,&#8221 underscored Mr. Cappelaere, urging the parties to the conflict to protect schools, refrain from using schools for military purposes and work together to find an urgent solution to the salary crisis so that children can learn.

He also called on donors to step up their assistance and enable the payment of incentives to education personnel, health workers and other civil servants who deliver vital services for children.

&#8220The children of Yemen have suffered in ways that no human being should have to bear. Education is their only way to secure a better future and to help put Yemen on the path to peace,&#8221 he said.

Inherent Resolve Strikes Target ISIS in Syria, Iraq

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Oct. 18, 2017 — U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria yesterday, conducting seven strikes consisting of eight engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal yesterday. The strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two vehicle-borne-bomb factories and an ISIS headquarters.

Officials also provided details today about three strikes consisting of three engagements conducted Oct. 16 near Raqqa for which the information was not available in time for yesterday’s report. The strikes suppressed three ISIS communication lines.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of five engagements yesterday against ISIS targets:

— Near Qaim, two strikes destroyed three ISIS vehicle-borne-bomb factories, an ISIS-held building and a munition production and storage facility.

— Near Beiji, two strikes destroyed an ISIS vehicle-borne bomb and an ISIS tunnel.

— Near Rawa, a strike engaged one ISIS tactical unit.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

Farm Hazardous Waste Collections 2017

Date released: Oct 18 2017

From today, farmers across Ireland will again have an opportunity to safely dispose of hazardous wastes from their farms at ten collection events during October and November.

Hazardous wastes are generated through the normal running of a farm, from engine oils & filters to residues of pesticides; and out-of-date veterinary medicines. The removal of these potentially dangerous substances represents a major step in improving farm safety while reducing the serious pollution risks associated with accidental spillages.

The first event takes place in Bandon, Co Cork today, 18th October.  Over the course of the campaign, 2,000 farmers are expected to participate by bringing along surplus agri-chemicals and other hard-to-manage wastes.  Safe disposal of these wastes is important for every farmer in keeping the farmyard safe for themselves and their family; in producing quality-assured products; and in maintaining Ireland’s green and sustainable image.

The campaign was initiated in 2013, and is led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) working with a cross-government team that includes Teagasc; the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine; the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment and local authorities. 

Dr Eimear Cotter, Director, EPA Office of Environmental Sustainability said:

“The EPA is pleased to support the Farm Hazardous Waste Collections again this year. To date the scheme has been very successful in terms of reducing environmental risk by providing farmers with options for disposal and recovery of their farm hazardous wastes. This initiative has demonstrated the feasibility of running these collections, the strong demand from farmers for the service and what can be achieved with the commitment of a wide range of engaged partners.”

Since 2013, the EPA has run 36 collection events to which 6,800 farmers have brought over 800 tonnes of hazardous wastes (including pesticides; veterinary products; waste oil; and electrical equipment & batteries). 

Teagasc Environmental Specialist Tim Hyde said,

“This initiative is an excellent opportunity for farmers to safely dispose of their farm hazardous waste and at an extremely competitive rate.  I would encourage all farmers to bring their farm hazardous wastes to one of the ten locations, where it will be collected and processed in a safe and environmentally sound manner. These collection days provide an opportunity for farmers to dispose of materials that may be harmful to humans and animals, and also to ensure compliance with DAFM Cross Compliance and Bord Bia Inspections.”

The scheme assists farmers in complying with legislation & quality assurance schemes, and also supports the ambitions of strategies such as the National Hazardous Waste Management Plan and Food Wise 2025. 

Find out more about the 2017 Farm Hazardous Waste collections on the EPA website.

The location and dates for this year’s farm hazardous waste collections are as follows:

Dates Location
18th October  Bandon Recycling Centre, Co. Cork
25th October  Nenagh Mart, Co Tipperary
27th October  Enniscorthy Mart, Co Wexford
4th November  Listowel Mart, Co. Kerry
8th November Kilkenny Mart, Co Kilkenny
14th November Cahir Mart, Co. Tipperary
17th November  Mayo-Sligo Co-operative, Ballina, Co Mayo
21st November Tullamore Mart, Co. Offaly
24th November  Athenry Mart, Co. Galway
28th November Kells Recycling Centre, Co Meath

Collection centres will open from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

Notes to Editor
Information on the waste types accepted, and the charges that apply are available in the information leaflet on the EPA website or by calling LoCall: 1890 33 55 99.

Further information:
Niamh Hatchell/ Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours) or
Or Teagasc Press Office 059-9183408

Windward: Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency administrator to give nuclear threat preparedness presentation

Vern Miyagi speaks at Community Forum in Chemistry on Tuesday, October 31

Windward Community College


Posted: Nov 30, -0001
Vern Miyagi, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator
Vern Miyagi, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator

Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) Administrator Vern Miyagi will discuss what HI-EMA is doing to prepare our state for nuclear threat and steps it is taking to educate the public and our community in a Community Forum in Chemistry at Windward Community College.

Community Forum in Chemistry – Nuclear Threat Preparedness with Vern Miyagi, HI-EMA
Tuesday, October 31
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Windward Community College, Hale Kuhina 115 
Free and open to the public. Parking is free.

Vern T. Miyagi has more than 40 years of service and has experience in domestic and international humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations and exercises as a U.S. Army Major General and executive officer of the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency. During the 1992 Hurricane Iniki operation, Miyagi served as the operations officer for the deployed Hawai‘i National Guard joint task force on the island of Kaua‘i. At United States Pacific Command he participated in a variety of disaster relief operations and exercises, including the 2004 Asian Tsunami, UN Peacekeeping/humanitarian assistance and disaster response exercises in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Mongolia, and trilateral disaster exercises involving the U. S., Korea and Japan. Miyagi has served as the State Coordinating Officer for three presidentially declared disasters (Tropical Storm Iselle, the Puna lava emergency and the Maui Iao Valley flood). Miyagi has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from the University of Hawai‘i.

The Community Forum in Chemistry is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawai‘i Section. For more information, call Letty Colmenares, professor of chemistry at Windward Community College, (808) 236-9120.


For more information, visit:

Remarks at the Welcome Home Celebration for the 2017 Australian Invictus Team


Thank you very much Marise.

Athletes all, veterans all, heroes all – we thank you for your service and we thank you for your inspiration.

It’s good to see so many of you again. Last time we met we were in Sydney with Prince Harry and you’ve been hanging out with him at the Invictus Games where you’ve been so successful.

It’s great to see you again Gary. You kept Julie Bishop – Julie Bishop is here – you were part of our close personal protection team in Afghanistan years ago, not long before you suffered your injuries in the Black Hawk crash. And you kept us safe. You put your life on the line with your comrades to keep us safe there as you all do and have done every day.

We live in a dangerous world. There are many people that seek to do us harm and we know that the freedoms we exercise in this Parliament are due to you and those like you who have carried out with that ANZAC spirit the defence of our nation for generations.

We’re surrounded by Parliamentarians, the servicemen and women of tomorrow, all of these young people – their freedoms, their future depends on the sacrifices you have made and so many other brave Australians will make in the years to come.

You’re an inspiration. We thank you for what you’ve done.

You’ve demonstrated in the Invictus Games that you truly are unconquerable. As unconquered as is Australia’s commitment to freedom, our way of life, our democracy, the rule of law, the values that you have always defended.

So we’re all here – the leaders of the Parliament, the leaders of the armed forces – we’re all here to thank you and to honour you.

And we look forward to the Invictus Games in 2018 in Sydney. It’ll be a fantastic event.

And I know that you’ve done brilliantly in Canada. You’ll do even better in Sydney, no doubt.

But above all, what you will always do is demonstrate that indomitable, unconquerable spirit that is Invictus.

You are unconquered as are the values you have spent your service defending and the inspiration that you give to all of these young Australians is this – our values are worth fighting for, they will always have to be fought for and whatever adversity you suffer, with spirit and with courage you can overcome it.

Thank you for your service. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your inspiration. You are unconquered.

Thank you so much.


Television interview with David Koch and Samantha Armytage – Sunrise


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joins us now from Canberra. Prime Minister, Good morning to you.


Good morning Sam.


A $115 a year saving – that’s about $2 week. Would you really describe that as a game changer?


This plan is a game changer, Sam, because it goes beyond that. This creates for the first time a truly level playing field, one which will prioritise affordable energy, reliable energy, keeping the lights on and of course, will enable us to meet our commitments to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement. So what this is about is affordability, reliability, responsibility. This is a game changer.


For normal people like us, how will that work? Because, to keep prices down, you have got to use fossil fuels and sort of traditional coal powered electricity but then how do you keep emissions down?


Well, Kochie, I think the first thing to remember is that the cost of renewables, particularly wind and solar, are coming down all the time, so that’s why they don’t need subsidies.




The clean energy industry say they are competitive with new builds of coal and gas. Well look – we’re not trying to picking winners, we’re saying let everybody compete. There are going to be two requirements, firstly that there has to be an adequate level of dispatchable reliable power.

Now, that can, of course, be coal and gas and that’s why they get a credit for that, they’ll get recognition for that. But it can also be hydro, it could also be biomass. You know, there are many alternatives.

On the other hand, we have also got to reduce our emissions under the Paris Agreement and of course, that’s where the low emission fuels like wind and solar have an advantage.

So it’s going to be a mix and what we’re doing now is bringing climate policy and energy policy into the one mechanism and it’s a level playing field. It will ensure, as the experts have told us, that this will make energy more affordable and more reliable.


But as the bottom of the screen says, no Clean Energy Target. Has your government accepted Tony Abbott’s claims – he’s the one that’s been pushing this the loudest – that the Clean Energy Target is a bad idea?


We didn’t adopt the Clean Energy Target. If we’d wanted to, we would’ve adopted it. We obviously had reservations about it and we were working on it and what we’ve got now – working on the problem I should say – and what we’ve got now is a recommendation from the Energy Security Board. Which consists of the leaders of our energy market regulators and operators, the smartest people in the room, these are the experts that everyone’s telling us to listen to, this is where you find the engineering and the economics that is the guide to my government’s energy policy.

The days of slogans and partisanship and politics and ideology, we should put it behind us and let’s focus as the industry has recognised on a truly rational and objective approach, a level playing field backed by engineering and economics and that’s why we’re relying on that advice.


See those experts agree with your new policy, even the Chief scientist agrees with the policy and business agrees with the policy, but Labor doesn’t, Labor Premiers don’t, and market does not and Tony Abbott is evening saying he doesn’t agree either. This is the problem isn’t it? It’s a political football that no one knows whether their Arthur or Martha, there’s no certainty. What do you say to these Premier’s and Labor and Abbott? 


What I’m saying to everybody to the premiers who of course sit around the table at COAG, I’m saying to them – look you appointed the Energy Security Board. You appointed them because they are really smart and you wanted their advice. They’ve given us the advice, why don’t we listen to it and follow it? Why don’t we listen to the experts we asked for advice and knowing that this will mean that energy will be more affordable, it will be more reliable and we will still be able to meet our emission reduction commitments under the Paris Treaty.


So Prime Minister what do you do if they’re recalcitrant and they continue to play politics with it and say they say sorry, we’re not going to sign up to this?


Well you know what, Kochie just put his finger on the point. Business is behind it and so much of economics commentariat and energy experts are behind it. You’ve got the experts, they’ve proposed it. I’m confident that over time when a bit of the heat and passion dies out of it and state and territory Premiers start focusing on doing the right thing by their customers, their voters, their consumers. They start focusing on getting energy prices down and ensuring the lights stay on so we don’t have the disaster we’ve had in South Australia repeated everywhere around the country. I’m confident common sense will prevail. We’ve got the right advice – let’s follow it. Let’s look after Australian families, let’s look after them and make sure their energy prices are lower, the lights stay on and we are responsible and meet our international commitments.


Do you want to tell Tony Abbott to just shut the hell up?



Look Kochie, I’m not distracted by that sort of thing. I’m focused on looking after the household budgets, protecting the household budgets of all of your viewers. They want the Prime Minister to focus on getting energy prices down, making sure the lights stay on and of course doing the right thing by our international commitments. So I’m focused on your viewers, our viewers – that’s my job. I’ll do that.


Us too. You’re a very optimistic man we applaud you for that. All the best with it. Thank you for your time.


Thank you very much.


Hartwig Schafer World Bank Vice President for Global Themes at Senior Officials Meeting in Kabul

Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honor for me to represent the World Bank Group today at the Senior Officials’ Meeting in Kabul. We have had the privilege of working side by side with the government of Afghanistan and its international partners for the last fifteen years to secure a better, more peaceful and prosperous future for all Afghans.

The World Bank Group have supported Afghanistan in building core budget institutions and systems, in establishing flagship community-driven development programs, and in ensuring that basic services are delivered nationwide. Much has been accomplished over this time. Government revenues grew from around 3 percent of GDP to nearly 11 percent; life expectancy increased from 44 to 61 years, and school enrollment went up from less than a million to more than 8 million children, of whom more than a third are girls.

Yet, the challenges of the on-going transition to self-reliance remain profound and the last five years have not been easy. With the withdrawal of most international troops, Afghanistan faced an almost impossible situation—a rapidly deteriorating security environment combined with a massive economic shock. Private investment fell sharply, and with it, economic growth, while poverty and unemployment increased. But through this period, the government has persisted in slowly but surely implementing its ambitious reform agenda. Progress has admittedly been slow on many fronts, but perhaps understandably so, given the extremely difficult circumstances.

At the same time, more has been accomplished than is often recognized, for instance, in strengthening fiscal management, in improving customs and revenue administration, in restoring financial sector stability, and in laying the institutional and legal frameworks for better land management and for public-private partnerships. Most importantly, growth has begun to pick up. And so, while Afghanistan continues to face many extremely difficult challenges, and it will take continued commitment and a sustained focus on implementation and follow-through to overcome these challenges, the situation no longer seems almost impossible.

Achieving peace and security are clearly central to Afghanistan’s future. But military action and a political agreement will not by themselves bring about a durable peace. Communities and families must be able to count on the state to deliver essential services. Parents should retain the hope that their children will have a chance at a better future. Roads are needed to connect farmers to markets and to bring mothers to health facilities when needed. And the four hundred thousand young Afghans who reach working age each year need to be able to find productive jobs and secure livelihoods.

As the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework recognizes, delivering on these development outcomes will require:

  • First, catalyzing inclusive growth through private investment and job creation, women’s economic empowerment, and realizing the potential of Afghanistan’s agriculture and agribusinesses;
  • And second, enhancing state effectiveness through better governance, a more meritocratic civil service, strengthened anti-corruption efforts, and better procurement and financial management practices.

The World Bank Group is working and will continue to work closely with the government, through the relevant National Priority Programs, on these themes.

This will require development financing. Afghanistan undoubtedly needs to crowd in private capital, particularly for infrastructure investments. We at the World Bank Group look forward to supporting this effort through the provision of guarantees and other financial solutions. But even as Afghanistan strives for fiscal self-reliance, the Official Development Assistance will continue to be vital. On-budget financing will be particularly critical if Afghanistan is to have the fiscal space to realize its development priorities.

I am pleased to report that the IDA18 allocation for Afghanistan has been increased in line with the World Bank’s greater focus on fragile and conflict-affected countries and that Afghanistan will also have access to the IDA18 Regional and Private Sector Windows. In addition, we hope that our partners in the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund will continue to contribute to this unique platform for pooled on-budget financing as we finalize the ARTF’s Partnership Framework and Financing Program for 2018-2020.

Let me end by reiterating the World Bank Group’s commitment to working with the government of Afghanistan and its international partners to secure a better future for all Afghans. I wish the Senior Officials Meeting a great success and look forward to contributing to the discussions.

The Rhythms of Sign Language


The Rhythms of Sign Language

Brain activity in the visual cortex aligns to rhythms of hands in sign language, new research shows

Two women communicate using sign language.

New research shows that activity in the visual cortex aligns to rhythms of hands in sign language.

July 14, 2017

From an outside perspective, understanding a spoken language versus a signed language seems like it might involve entirely different brain processes. One process involves your ears and the other your eyes, and scientists have long known that different parts of the brain process these different sensory inputs.

To scientists at the University of Chicago interested in the role rhythm plays in how humans understand language, the differences between these inputs provided an opportunity for experimentation. The resulting study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences helps explain that rhythm is important for processing language whether spoken or signed.

Previous studies have shown the rhythm of speech changes the rhythm of neural activity involved in understanding spoken language. When humans listen to spoken language, the brain’s auditory cortex activity adjusts to follow the rhythms of sentences. This phenomenon is known as entrainment.

But even after researchers identified entrainment, understanding the role of rhythm in language comprehension remained difficult. Neural activity changes when a person is listening to spoken language — but the brain also locks onto random, meaningless bursts of sound in a very similar way and at a similar frequency.

That’s where the University of Chicago team saw an experimental opportunity involving sign language. While the natural rhythms in spoken language are similar to what might be considered the preferred frequency for the auditory cortex, this is not true for sign language and the visual cortex. The rhythms from the hand movements in ASL are substantially slower than that of spoken language.

The researchers used electroencephalography (EEG) to record the brain activity of participants as they watched videos of stories told in American Sign Language (ASL). One group was made up of participants who were fluent in ASL, while the other was made up of non-signers. The researchers then analyzed the rhythms of activity in different regions of the participants’ brains.

The brain activity rhythms in the visual cortex followed the rhythms of sign language. Importantly, the researchers observed entrainment at the low frequencies that carry meaningful information in sign language, not at the high frequencies usually seen in visual activity.

“By looking at sign, we’ve learned something about how the brain processes language more generally,” said principal investigator Daniel Casasanto, Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago. “We’ve solved a mystery we couldn’t crack by studying speech alone.”

While the ASL-fluent and non-signer groups demonstrated entrainment, it was stronger in the frontal cortex for ASL-fluent participants, compared to non-signers. The frontal cortex is the area of the brain that controls cognitive skills. The authors postulate that frontal entrainment may be stronger in the fluent signers because they are more able to predict the movements involved and therefore more able to predict and entrain to the rhythms they see.

“This study highlights the importance of rhythm to processing language, even when it is visual. Studies like this are core to the National Science Foundation’s Understanding the Brain Initiative, which seeks to understand the brain in action and in context,” said Betty Tuller, a program manager for NSF’s Perception, Action, and Cognition Program. “Knowledge of the fundamentals of how the brain processes language has the potential to improve how we educate children, treat language disorders, train military personnel, and may have implications for the study of learning and memory.”

—  Stanley Dambroski, (703) 292-7728
—  Madeline Beal

Steven Small
Brooke Noonan
Howard Nusbaum
Meghan Hammond
Daniel Casasanto

Related Institutions/Organizations
University of Chicago

Related Awards
#1144082 Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
#1257101 How motor action shapes emotion in the brain
#0116293 MRI: Acquisition of Instrumentation to Measure the Time-Course and Distribution of Cortical Activity in Perceptual Cognitive, and Social Psychological Processing

Total Grants

Secretary Cascos reminds voters of Feb. 1 Registration Deadline

voters must register by February 1 for March 1 Primary Election

January 26, 2016
Contact: Alicia Pierce or Mari Bergman

AUSTIN, TX – Today, Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos reminded Texans that February 1 is the deadline to register in time for the March 1 Primary Election.

“I encourage all qualified Texans who aren’t already registered or who need to update their registrations to do so before the February 1 deadline,” said Secretary Cascos. “This primary election will help decide which candidates will be on the ballot in November.”

Texans can register to vote in several ways including downloading a mail-in application at Applications must be postmarked February 1 or earlier to meet the deadline. Eligible voters may also apply in person at their county voter registrar’s office.

Texans can check their registration status through and even make updates online if they are not changing their county of registration. The 30-day deadline also applies to registration updates such as changing your address.

Texans do not select a party when registering. Qualified voters are free to vote in either the Republican or Democratic Primary, but not both. This includes the primary runoff election.
Early voting begins February 16 and continues through February 26. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is February 19.

Photo ID is currently required for voting in person. The seven forms of approved photo ID are:

  • Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas handgun license issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States passport

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented at the polling place.


Secretary Cascos reminds Texans Early Voting Starts Feb. 16

February 12, 2016
Contact: Alicia Pierce or Mari Bergman

AUSTIN, TX – Today, Texas Secretary of State Carlos H. Cascos reminded Texans that early voting for the March 1 Primary Election begins on Tuesday, February 16, and runs through Friday, February 26.

“I encourage voters to take full advantage of the convenience of voting early,” said Secretary Cascos. “Don’t forget, during early voting you can cast your ballot at any polling location within your county of registration.”

The primary election will determine which candidates will appear on the ballot as the nominees from the Republican and Democrat parties in the November general election. Texas voters may vote in either the Republican or Democratic primaries, but not both.

The last day to register to vote in time for the March 1 Primary was February 1, but qualified Texans who missed the deadline can still register by April 25 for the primary runoff election on May 24.

Secretary Cascos also reminded voters they will need to bring photo ID if they cast a ballot in person.

“The photo ID requirement is still in effect,” said Cascos. “Voters will need to present one of seven forms of approved photo ID when coming to the polls.”

The forms of approved photo ID are:

  1. Texas Driver License – issued by the Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  2. Texas Personal Identification Card – issued by DPS
  3. Texas Concealed Handgun License – issued by DPS
  4. United States Military Identification card containing the person’s photograph
  5. United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
  6. United States Passport – issued by the U.S. government
  7. Election Identification Certificate – issued free by DPS

Any citizen who does not have an approved ID can apply for a free Election Identification Certificate and should visit or call 1-800-252-VOTE for more information.

Voters can contact their county elections office to locate the most convenient polling place, or they can follow the links at During Early Voting, polling place times will vary from county to county.