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Texas voter registration deadline around the corner

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 4:58 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, and if Texans, who are not currently registered to vote, want to vote in this November’s election, there are only a few more days to get registered.

People who are not currently registered have until Monday, Oct. 4 to get their registration forms turned in. Registering to vote online is not permitted in Texas, but forms are available online or in a variety of places like libraries and government offices.

In order to fill out the form, you’ll need a Texas driver’s license or ID number. If you don’t have one of those, you’ll need the last four digits of your social security number.

Once completed, the form needs to be mailed to the voter registrar’s office, and be postmarked by Monday.

Paul York, associate dean of student affairs for Texas A&M Central Texas, is heavily involved with efforts to make sure students are registered to vote and have access to election and candidate information.

York said generally speaking, it’s fairly easy to register to vote in Texas, provided you have the identification the state requires.

However, he said it’s a good idea to make sure you are still registered to vote in Texas, and in the right location, since many Americans don’t vote every year.

“Most Americans only vote in the in the national elections every four years, and they forget that there are state elections and that there are elections every two years and there are local municipal and county elections, on a more regular basis than that,” York said. “And so they’re out of practice. We just don’t engage in elections as often as we should.”

York said National Voter Registration Day is a good reminder to check, especially since the deadline to register is less than a week away.

If you’d like to register to vote and need assistance, there are a number of voter registration drives happening around Central Texas on Tuesday.

The McLennan County NAACP is partnering with several other organizations to host voting drives at a few locations around Waco.

  • Downtown Office of Communities in School
  • East Waco Library
  • McLennan Community College outside library
  • McLennan County Democratic Party office in the parking lot – 3221 Franklin Ave
  • Quinn Campus Flagpole Drive-thru
  • Sonic Drive-in on N. Valley Mills
  • Waco Cha

If you need more information, you can call or text 254-733-5261. The locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The McLennan County Republican Party will also be registering people to vote at its headquarters in the Westview Mall breezeway (539 N Valley Mills). Volunteers will be there from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

This is the first election that will be held since Governor Greg Abbott signed SB1 into law earlier this year. However, the controversial voting bill will not impact this year’s election, since it’s not expected to go into effect until December.

Jon Taylor, a professor of politics at UT San Antonio, said even if the law went into effect immediately, it’s not likely there would be much of an impact. Taylor said this November’s elections are expected to have a low turnout, and so some of the practices banned in the law, like 24 hour early voting and drive-thru voting probably would not be used.

Taylor said it’s more likely the true impact of the law will become clear in later elections.

“Where it may have an impact potentially could be in the 2022 primaries and maybe even the 2022 general election, again depending on on voter turnout, depending on the strength of the of the candidates running for governor, for example, the excitement,” Taylor said. “And then going into 2024, that’s where we may see more of an interesting impact just because by that point, the law will have been in effect for several years.”

There have been several legal challenges to the law.

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