by Michael Handley
The deadline to be registered to vote in the 2012 General Election is October 9, 2012. Are you registered to vote? Even if you think you are registered you should double check your registration status, because your registration could have been suspended or completely purged.
- If you haven't voted since the November 2008 election, you may no longer be registered to vote.
- If you did not receive a yellow 2012-13 Voter Registration Card (VRC), you may no longer be registered to vote.
- If you moved, but you did not go to your county's election registration office to file a voter registration form for your current residence, you may no longer be registered to vote.
- If you checked the voter registration box at the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles office when you changed, renewed or applied for your driver's license, but you did not sign a registration form and/or you never a receive a Voter Registration Card, you most likely are not registered to vote.
State and federal HAVA laws require the nation's voter rolls be regularly reviewed and cleaned to remove duplicates and eliminate voters who move or die. This clean up cycle occurs every three months in Texas. Statewide in Texas, more than 1.5 million voter records could be suspended and eventually purged if people fail to vote or update their voter registration records for two consecutive federal elections.
One out of every 10 Texas voters' registration is currently suspended. Among voters under 30, the figure is about one in five. More than 300,000 valid voters were notified they could be removed from Texas rolls from November 2008 to November 2010 because they were mistaken for someone else who moved or died and failed to receive or respond to generic election office form letters.
Across Texas, identifying people who should (and shouldn't) be purged relies on outdated computer programs and faulty procedures. The result is that sometimes the wrong people are flagged and sent a voter status inquiry letter that many people discard as junk mail. If you ever received a status inquiry letter or post card from your county's election office, and you did not respond, your voter registration record likely has been purged.
To check your Collin Co. registration status - click here. To check your registration status in any other Texas county - click here. If you find you are not registered to vote, you can find the Voter's Registration application by clicking here.
(More details available at Your 2012 Collin Co. Voter Registration Card ~ Are You Ready For Voting To Start In Just 34 Days? ~ NPR: Texans Bereaved Over 'Dead' Voter Purge ~ Ignore A Letter From The Elections Office And Get Purged From Voting.)