by Shawna Graves, Office of Public Relations
National Voter Registration Day is celebrating its eighth year as a national holiday and Sul Ross State University is participating with an official location in the Wildenthal Memorial Library.
The holiday is held on the fourth Tuesday of September, this year falling on the 24th. It is endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State and supported by the National Association of
State Election Directors, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the National Association of Election Officials.
It is a day for volunteers and organizations to coordinate field, technology and media efforts to create a widely publicized registration opportunity.
As a voter registrar, Sul Ross Education and Outreach Librarian Betsy Evans can register people to vote at any time but saw this holiday as a good occasion to encourage student participation.
“People can register to vote at any time but this is a fun way to encourage a bigger turnout,” Evans said.
Registration forms ask for an address, birthdate and I.D. or driver license number, but no documents are required at the time of registration.
However, to be eligible to vote in the state of Texas, a person must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of a Texas county, be at least 17 years and 10 months old, not a convicted felon (unless the sentence is completed, including any probation or parole), and not declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law.
Texas residents can only be registered to vote in one county at a time, and students may choose to use their permanent address or the address they have while enrolled as a student. Library staff has a template to help students living in dorms label those addresses correctly.
Voters registered with an out-of-county address have the option to use an absentee ballot if they are unable to return home during voting season.
This year’s Voter Registration Day is the same day Sul Ross holds Fall on the Mall. Campus will be buzzing with club activities, and Evans said there will be a voter registration table on the campus mall in addition to the library.
The event takes place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. inside the library or on the mall during Fall on the Mall activities. For more information, email Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org.