pexels-sora-shimazaki-5926304

Get Out the Vote 2022: How to Register & Eligibility

Words by Freddy Jimenez

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

It’s that time of the cycle again: Midterm elections. Mark your calendars for November 8th. 

Before that, we have a primary runoff election coming up on May 24th, and as Texas voting laws have become more repressive, making it even more difficult to vote, it’s crucial to remain informed and active with the civil liberties still allowed to us. 

Early voting for the primary runoff election is May 16th through May 20th, but April 25th is the last day to register in order to vote. 

First step is confirming if you’re registered to vote; you can do so here on the Texas Secretary of State website. This is important because recent gerrymandering and redistricting laws have gone into effect, changing one’s precinct and voting territory.

If you’re not registered to vote, but would like to, there are options. You may either

  • Visit your local county elections office, i.e. Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy. You will be asked to fill out an application, sign, and turn in then and there.

  • Contact a civic engagement non-profit organization or organizer, such as Texas Rising RGV, LUPE, BattleGround TXMOVE Texas; Trucha can also get you in contact with an organizer at one of these orgs. These orgs tend to host registration drives often and are a good resource for local civic engagement. They’ll usually submit the forms to the elections office themselves.

  • Submit an application via mail. Remember there are stipulations and conditions, listed here (and here), limiting the right to vote by mail. Also, you must print out the application, fill it out, and send it to the elections office. You may also fill it out digitally and email/fax it to the elections office, but you must also print it out and mail it to the office simultaneously, so that the elections office clerk “receives it no later than 4 business days after the clerk receives your faxed or emailed application.”

Unfortunately, Texas has no option to register online. And the latest regressive effort to pass the legislature and signed by Governor Gregg Abbott was SB1

This bill is responsible for the limited mail-in voting options, but it also shortens overnight early voting hours and drive-thru voting; it also makes it a state felony for local election officials to proactively distribute applications for mail-in ballots. You can learn more about SB1 here.

Concerning eligibility, according to the Texas Secretary of State site, you can register to vote if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are a United States citizen;

  • You are a resident of the county where you submit the application;

  • You are at least 17 years and 10 months old on the date your voter registration application is submitted, and you are 18 years of age on Election Day.

  • You are not a convicted felon (you may be eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence, probation, and parole); and

  • You have not been declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.

  • Contact a civic engagement non-profit organization or organizer, such as Texas Rising RGV, LUPE, BattleGround TX,  MOVE Texas; Trucha can also get you in contact with an organizer at one of these orgs. These orgs tend to host registration drives often and are a good resource for local civic engagement. They’ll usually submit the forms to the elections office themselves.

  • Submit an application via mail. Remember there are stipulations and conditions, listed here (and here), limiting the right to vote by mail. Also, you must print out the application, fill it out, and send it to the elections office. You may also fill it out digitally and email/fax it to the elections office, but you must also print it out and mail it to the office simultaneously, so that the elections office clerk “receives it no later than 4 business days after the clerk receives your faxed or emailed application.”

Voting is an empowering way to use your voice to create meaningful change in our society. Although the current voting process can sometimes be difficult to understand, we hope that this guide can help you better navigate the process. 

Register to vote today and make your voice count in the upcoming elections!

 

 

Share This post

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Suggested Articles: