Are You Registered to Vote?
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 10/2/2020, 4:03 a.m.
My vote won’t count. I missed the deadline. The process is too hard. What are these statements? Excuses used by Americans as reasons why they don’t vote. And there are more than that with regards to black and brown people faced with lack of transportation, voter IDs laws, distrust of the system, and a lack of education of the process. However, I am of the belief that for every excuse there is a solution to resolve it. Stop thinking you won’t be heard. Your vote is your voice. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 5th so you still have a little time to get registered. The process is far from difficult. Finally, you may get all the education on the election process at HarrisVotes.org or Vote411.org. Before Election Day arrives we must remove all excuses from the minds of voters. This election is far too important to watch from the sidelines. Political participation is needed by all. The first step in the election process is to register to vote.
“I was beaten, my skull was fractured, and I was arrested more than 40 times so each and every one of us can register to vote. Do your part.” – Congressman John Lewis.
Lewis was a man who often got in good trouble to make sure he was doing his part. Now that he has completed his life’s work it is up to all of us to continue his fight and do our part. Our part consists of getting registered to vote and showing up during early voting or on Election Day to vote for the best candidates for the job.
Your step in fulfilling your part is to apply to register to vote. However, you apply make sure you qualify. In the state of Texas, there are five points of voter eligibility. A person must be:
*A United States citizen;
*A resident of the Texas county in which application for registration is made;
*At least 18 years old on Election Day;
*Not convicted of a felony, or, if so convicted must have (1) fully discharged the sentence; or (2) been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disability to vote; and
*Not determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be (1) totally mentally incapacitated; or (2) partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
If you meet all those criteria move on to the next step – applying to vote. Applications can be download from HarrisVotes.org, requested by mail, or picked up from County Voter Registrar's office, the Secretary of State's Office, libraries, many post offices, or high schools. The application is very simple to fill out with just 10 questions that are all about you. It takes all of a couple of minutes to fill out. Read all instructions carefully. Fill in all the blanks. Mail the completed application to the County Voter Registrar, or hand-deliver it to the County Voter Registrar's office. The application must be received 30 days before the election. There is also one other way to register to vote, online. Texans can register to vote or update their voter’s information online when renewing their driver's license.
Once the complete application is received and processed, registered voters can check their status with the Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs at /teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do. On the website, voters can find a polling location near them, jot down key election deadlines, and see additional registration information. Everything you need to know is at your fingertips in one spot.
This election cycle is expected to turn out an unprecedented number of voters. In anticipation of this and the knowledge that COVID-19 is still very serious coupled with the flu season, the Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins wants to make sure that this entire process is safe, accessible, and easy to do. Many have been encouraged to vote by mail and to request voting material now to ensure they are indeed registered and get their application and ballot in by the deadline.
Deadlines are important since fifty-five days before the election the voter system is set by the number of registered voters from the voter registrar’s records. The number of registered voters is not the same number as the number of actual registered voters eligible to vote.
Voter registration ends October 5th. That date is just around the corner. Don’t let the deadline get you. Get registered to vote now! Find out all the information you need to get registered at HarrisVotes.gov or Vote411.org. We will see you at the polls!