Government at all levels functions best when citizens participate, and the most basic and important way to participate in our democracy is by voting. If you have watched television, tuned in on the radio, or opened a newspaper in the past 30 days, you are most likely aware that an election is fast approaching. What you may not be aware of is that there are many deadlines leading up to Election Day that may be of importance to you. The Texas Secretary of State tracks these deadlines and I have included a few for your convenience:
|Last Day to Register to Vote||Tuesday, October 11, 2016*|
|First Day of Early Voting||Monday, October 24, 2016|
|Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (Received, not Postmarked)||Friday, October 28, 2016|
|Last Day of Early Voting||Friday, November 4, 2016|
|Last Day to Receive Ballot by Mail||Tuesday, November 8, 2016 (election day) at 7:00 p.m. (unless overseas deadline applies)|
|Election Day||Tuesday, November 8, 2016|
If you have questions on any of these deadlines check with your county official who oversees voter registration or the elections administrator. You may also contact the Secretary of State at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683).
Like many citizens, you may have noticed our election process is not as streamlined as it could be. If you moved to Texas from another state, you may have enjoyed the freedom to register to vote, or change your address online, or to also do so when you changed the address on your driver’s license online in your former state. I hope to bring these same conveniences to Texas citizens soon.
The legislature has considered many common sense reforms to our election process, but unfortunately, few have made it in to law. I have filed legislation to allow online voter registration, allow college students to use their college ID to vote, allow submission of a mail ballot application electronically, and passed legislation improving the mail ballot processing procedure for our counties. My colleagues and I will begin considering legislation when the next session begins in January 2017.
If you have ideas on how we can improve our registration process and our elections, I’d like to hear from you! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a letter to any of the office addresses listed on this card. Together, we can bring common sense reforms to our elections, and improve every Texan’s experience in exercising this important right of citizenship.