Hey, Texans! Tuesday is the last day to register to vote in the November election
Texas has added nearly 2 million people to its voter rolls since the 2018 midterm elections. But new or unregistered Texans only have until Tuesday to add their names to the list to be able to vote in next month’s general election.
Voting in Texas is county-based, so officials with the Texas Secretary of State are urging unregistered Texans to make sure to send registration forms to their local offices. The good news is that applications only need to be postmarked by Tuesday to qualify, even if they are processed later.
“It’s a post-mark deadline,” said Sam Taylor, the assistant secretary of state for communications at the Texas Secretary of State. “As long as the voter registration is in the mail by the end of the day on Oct . 11 it doesn’t matter when it was received.” (A directory of county offices can be found here.)
As of Thursday, about 17.6 million Texans were registered to vote, according to the Texas Secretary of State. That’s compared to about 15.8 million that were registered during the 2018 midterms.
Taylor attributed the increase, in part, to the large number of new Texans that have moved to the state in the last four years and a general increase in voter participation since 2016.
“The 2018 midterms were interesting because the turnout was much higher than the overall turnout in the 2014 midterms, which was 33% and then it jumped up to 53 % in the 2018 midterms,” he said. “I think it’s generally correct to say that anything post-2016 ends up being a higher turnout in comparisons to other midterm years.”
The highlights on the November ballot include the statewide gubernatorial contest between incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and his challenger, Beto O’Rourke; and the Texas Attorney General matchup between incumbent Ken Paxton and his Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza. Texas’ state house and U.S. House incumbents are also on the ballot in local races as their terms are served two years at a time.
The Texas Secretary of State also offers a tool on its website for Texans to verify their registration status.
Other key dates include Oct . 28, which is the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot. Unlike the voter registration deadline however, the mail-in ballot application must be processed – not just postmarked –by that date. Early voting begins Oct . 24 and Election Day is Nov. 8.
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