AUSTIN (Nexstar) — This week, Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs announced a campaign to encourage Texans to check their voting information, make sure they have the proper form of ID to bring to the polls and register, if they have not already.
A truck wrapped in bright colors, which features a message pushing the public to head to the state’s voter information website, began its trek across the state Thursday from Austin.
With less than a month left for voters to register, the message comes at a crucial time.
“You have to be registered to vote within 30 days of the election. And so that means by October 5,” Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson said.
Many typical in-person efforts to get eligible voters registered came to a halt due to COVID-19 in the spring.
“When the pandemic began, our voter registration efforts absolutely ground to a halt. As a matter of fact, in April, I don’t think we added a single person to the voter rolls,” Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Bruce Elfant said.
“When it hit is when all voter registration activities came to a quick stop,” League of Women Voters President Grace Chimene explained.
Chimene and Elfant both said they recognized a spike in registrations once calls for social justice began in June and July, but they say they’re still hoping for more people to register before the election.
Chimene said the League of Women Voters is also trying to make sure voters are as informed as possible heading into the election, which also means explaining we might not have results on election night due to the expected high volume of mail-in ballots.
“One of the things to be expected is that we aren’t going to find out who the winner is on election day. And that’s because every eligible vote should count right? And so vote by mail ballots take longer.”