Initiatives increase as voter registration deadline approaches


Sandra Sadek

The Verity Duo machines were implemented in November 2019 and combine use of electronic and paper ballot techniques. A physical copy will be provided to voters upon use.

Sandra Sadek, News Reporter

Voter awareness organizations and Student Government are expanding their voter registration efforts as the Feb. 3 deadline to vote in the March 3 primaries approaches.

Organizations like MOVE Texas and Texas Rising have amplified their efforts to help students register at their current address. Early voting for the primaries is Feb. 18-28 and Election Day is March 3.

According to a Twitter poll conducted by the University Star that received 91 votes, the lion’s share of respondents are registered to vote for the primaries.

Texas Rising student leader for the Texas State chapter Alexis Duran said her organization will continue to table for the remainder of the week, ensuring everyone on campus is aware of the registration deadline.

“With all of our activities, there’s been a huge amount of people coming up to our table to get registered to vote or signing up for one of our pledge-to-vote cards which informs them on election information,” Duran said. “We find that a lot of students at Texas State are already registered but they don’t know where to look for information and that is something we provide for them. It’s all non-partisan as well.”

On the primary ballots for Hays County, registered voters will find the presidential, senatorial and house representative races at the federal level. State-wise, races include the railroad commissioner, the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, the state Board of Education, senators, representatives and district judges. For the county, offices include county court-at-law judges, the sheriff, commissioners, constables and party chairs. A complete list of all candidates for each party can be found on the Hays County election website.

The primaries will be the second election in which the county utilizes its newest machines, first used November 2019. The new machines submit both an electronic and paper ballot after voting ballots were lost in 2017.

Hays County Election Administrator Jennifer Anderson said polling stations will be managed by workers prepared to assist voters unfamiliar with the new technology.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time for people to get used to them; they are a little different,” Anderson said. “We’re training our poll workers to make sure they’re helpful in the polling locations as well. Voters are very pleased with the fact that they have the verifiable paper trail and that they can make sure their votes are accurate, so those papers will be there if there’s a need for a recount or something in the future.”

The county has also been hosting weekly workshops to educate voters. Those workshops will continue until the November election. link

According to the Hays County election page, there will only be three early voting locations around San Marcos: the Hays County Government Center, the Hays County Health Department and the LBJ Student Center at Texas State. On March 3, however, there will be a total of 15 locations for voters to cast their ballot.

Student Government President Corey Benbow said students will continue to be reminded of the imminent registration deadline through emails and social media pushes. The Student Government website’s voting page will also be constantly updated. However, there will be no organized registration drive.

“There are registration cards in the dorms; you can always pick up registration cards at the Student Government office as well as the Student Involvement desk,” Benbow said. “These are going to be mail-in cards.”

Texas Rising will be tabling in the Quad Thursday, Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They will also be at the Student Organization Fair on Thursday, Jan. 30.

Sample ballots for the March 3 primary are available on the Hays County Election page.

The Student Government office is located in the LBJ Student Center, suite 4-5.1 and the Student Involvement Desk is located in suite 4-2.1. More information about registering to vote can be found on the Student Government’s voter registration page.

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