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What is Texas’ voter suspense list? And what should you do if you land on it?

Don’t worry. You can still vote, albeit with an extra step or two.

You’ve registered to vote, checked your status and received a confusing message:

Your voter status is in suspense.

What does that mean? Can it be fixed? And most importantly, will you be allowed to vote?

Roughly 1.8 million voters in Texas are currently in suspense, of the more than 17.5 million registered voters, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

Here is what Texas voters should know about voter suspense ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.

How do I check my voter status?

Check your registration on the state’s portal.

What is the voter suspense list?

Suspense means your county does not know your address or it thinks you moved, often because a voter registration card sent through mail is returned as undeliverable.

What should you do?

Update your address online by Oct. 11 — which is the deadline to register to vote — and be removed from the suspense list.

And after that?

If you arrive to your polling place and find that you are on the suspense list, don’t worry. You can still vote, albeit with an extra step or two.

First, you will be required to fill out a “statement of residence” form, which is available at every polling location. That form will be used to update your voter registration, and you’ll be removed from the suspense list.

But if you have moved to a separate county, you will be required to vote in your previous county or submit a provisional ballot.

A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a voter’s eligibility that must be resolved before a vote can count.

To have your provisional ballot counted in Texas, you are required to visit your county’s registrar office within six days of the election to show an acceptable form of ID. You will be notified within 30 days of the election whether your provisional ballot was counted.

How long can you stay on the suspense list?

You will be removed from Texas’ voter rolls following two general elections for the state and county on the suspense list, or roughly four years.

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