You should feel free to pass out registration cards to friends and family. While state law requires citizens to get special training to collect and submit registration cards, anyone may distribute registration cards for voters to mail back themselves. You can also share the links to voter registration applications through social media and email, which our office often does through Facebook and the @VoteTexas Twitter account.
Don’t know if you are registered to vote? Need to update your voter registration? You can check your registration status by going through VoteTexas.gov. As long as you aren’t changing the county of your registration, you can easily update your voter registration information directly online.
If you know someone who recently turned 18 or is about to celebrate that birthday, be sure to remind him or her about registering. While our office works with school administrators across the state to encourage high school seniors to register, it may be even more meaningful for a personal reminder to come from you. Sometimes young voters don’t think about registering until the eve of a presidential election, sometimes too late to register in time. By encouraging them to register today, they can participate in the upcoming primary and state elections that will affect their future.
Military and overseas voters can use the federal postcard application to not only register but also to automatically request mail-in ballots for the rest of the year. The federal postcard application can be found at FVAP.gov.
As we prepare for 2014, it’s important to keep some registration deadlines in mind. Feb. 3 is that last day to register to vote in time for the March 4 primary election, and Oct. 6 is the last day to register in time for the Nov. 4 general election.
As the Office of the Texas Secretary of State works diligently to make sure all eligible Texans have the opportunity to register, I ask that you join us in our registration efforts in 2014. Registering to vote is a new year’s resolution we can all embrace.
John Steen is the 108th Texas Secretary of State and, as chief election officer, helps oversee the uniform application and interpretation of election law in Texas.