(KLTV) - Tuesday, Sept. 22 is National Voter Registration Day.
The goal for the 2020 National Voter Registration Day is to increase participation by encouraging Americans to register to vote and come to the polls this fall.
The deadline to register to vote is Friday, Oct. 9. Texas voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Tuesday, Oct. 13 to Friday, Oct. 30, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
UT Tyler Assistant Professor of Political Science, Dr. Kenneth Bryant Jr. says, “historically speaking, Texas has not been a high turnout state and we want to change that.”
Texas is infamous for a low voter registration turnout and the pandemic hasn’t made it any easier. Grassroots activists and voter registration teams can’t go door-to-door in the age of the coronavirus. This is part of the reason voter registration took a dip.
Dr. Bryant includes that “voter registration has struggled this year because of the pandemic and the lack of ability to get out, go door to door, and encounter people out in about. So it’s been a bit of a challenge to get votes registered.”
Although this doesn’t seem to be the case in Smith county. Elections Administrator, Karen Nelson, says “I don’t believe COVID-19 has hindered people in registering. Our registration numbers are really up.”
Nelson says presidential elections typically keep their registration numbers high and they haven’t seen a dip. But the pandemic has kept many East Texans from getting a state I-d, but that can’t stop you from registering.
“A lot of people think that they can’t register because they don’t have that Texas driver’s license yet,” says Nelson, “but you can register with your social security card.”
She reminds people that to register you don’t have to provide any proof of residence, a driver’s license, or social security card. Just write the correct information on the application.
Find out about voter registration deadlines by state, voting times and locations, whether or not you’re eligible to register, and more. Visit the National Voter Registration’s voter help page.