Texas election roundup: Registration deadline Monday!
Date Posted: 10/01/2020 | Author: Mark Wiggins
- Voter registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 5
- Federal appeals court affirms no straight-ticket voting
- SD 30 special election is headed to a runoff
- Gov. Abbott limits mail-in ballot drop-off locations
- Presidential debate schedule
An important deadline is approaching ahead of the critical Nov. 3 election! Monday, October 5 is the last to register to vote if you are not already registered in the county in which you plan to cast your ballot.
Everyone, whether you think you are registered or not, should check their registration status NOW via the Texas Secretary of State (SOS) website. In order to check your status, simply click the link above and locate the section on the right hand side of the page that says "Login." Choose one of the three choices for identity verification: Voter unique identifier (VUID) and date of birth (DOB); Texas drivers license (TDL) and date of birth; or name, county, and date of birth.
You can find your VUID on your voter registration card that you received from your county voter registrar, but the easiest option for many people may just be to use their drivers license and date of birth. Once you've entered your information and clicked "Submit," you will be taken to a second screen that displays your voter status. Look on the left hand side of the screen under the section labeled "Voter Information." Find where it says "Voter Status" to confirm your status.
If your voter status shows you are not registered or if you receive a pop-up notification that reads "Voter not found using the information provided," then you will need to contact your county voter registrar in order to confirm your registration or just fill out new registration paperwork. You can find the voter registrar for your county by clicking here.
The SOS website allows you to request a voter registration application by mail, which you can then turn into your county voter registrar, but that application is not likely to reach you in time for the Monday deadline. For that reason, you should use the SOS online registration feature. The site allows you to fill out a registration form online. Once the application is filled out:
- Print the application
- Sign it;
- Insert in an envelope addressed to the county (the address is at the top of the form);
- Place a first class stamp on the envelope; and
- Drop it in the Mail - by October 5!
If you don't have access to a printer, you can also register directly through your county voter registrar. In most cases, the process is as simple as going down to the county offices and filling out a simple form. Whichever method you use, be sure that your ballot is delivered or postmarked by Monday, October 5!
That's the long and short of it. Make sure you are registered to vote in the county in which you plan to vote, and make sure every eligible voter you know is registered as well. That means if you are a college student, whether you decide to vote in your home county or in the county where you go to school is up to you -- but the key is that you must be registered in the county in which you plan to vote. Registration is critical. Every vote will count in this election.
In other election news, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that there will be no straight-ticket voting in Texas for the Nov. 3 election. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a state law passed in 2017 that ended the practice of straight-ticket voting in Texas and overturned a ruling last week by a lower court judge who attempted to reinstate straight-ticket voting ahead of the election.
As we previously reported, state Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) and metroplex salon owner Shelley Luther will head to a special runoff election to represent North Texas in the Texas Senate after Tuesday's special election in Senate District (SD) 30. In the final tally, Luther led Springer by a microscopic margin of 32.17% to 31.93%, with just 164 votes separating the two. Gov. Greg Abbott will determine when to hold the runoff.
Gov. Abbott issued an order Thursday limiting counties to a single drop-off location for mail-in ballots. With a nationwide uptick in mail-in voting expected as a result of concerns over COVID-19 exposure, several cities have offered multiple locations for voters to hand deliver their mail-in ballot in order to reduce pressure on the postal service to deliver millions of mail-in ballots to county election officials on time. Harris County, which spans more than 1,700 square miles and is home to 2.4 million registered voters, offered a dozen locations for voters to drop off mail-in ballots. Travis County, which is home to more than 700,000 voters spread across 1,000 square miles, offered four locations. Gov. Abbott's order limits each county to a single location regardless of size, citing an effort to "strengthen ballot security protocols."
The governor did not describe how decreasing the number of drop-off locations would strengthen security protocols, and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir called the move "a deliberate attempt to manipulate the election." Despite the spread of misinformation regarding the security of mail-in voting, every study conducted thus far has affirmed that widespread voter fraud does not exist.
More than 73 million people tuned in to watch Tuesday night's debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden. It was the first of three debates the campaigns have agreed to, in addition to one debate between vice-presidential candidates Mike Pence and Kamala Harris. The rest of the schedule is as follows:
- Wednesday, October 7: Vice-presidential Debate
- Thursday, October 15: Presidential Debate
- Thursday, October 22: Presidential Debate
That means the last two presidential debates will happen while Texans are casting their ballots. Early voting in Texas begins Oct. 13 and runs through Oct. 30. Gov. Abbott extended the normal two-week early voting period to three weeks in order to facilitate better social distancing at polling locations. But it won't do you any good if you're not registered to vote. Check your registration today!
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