Week 1 Action: Join Texas NORML and register to vote!
This week we’ll take the first step toward involvement in our Texas government: registering to vote.
Texas, along with over 20 other states in the U.S. cannot collect signatures to place an issue on the ballot for a vote to change state law. Additionally, in 1997, Texas passed a state law requiring that all drug laws be enforced and changed at the state rather than local level. Because of these limitations, Texans must rely on our state elected officials, specifically, our state representatives and state senators. This is why being registered to vote is so important. Stay tuned for our Texas Marijuana Policy Primary Voter Guide in Spring 2022!
WEEK 1 ACTION: AM I REGISTERED?
Go to the Am I Registered? site for the state of Texas. Choose which information you would like to use to verify your registration from the drop down menu on the right side, and click the button to see if you’re already registered!
Now that you’re aware of your voting power, your upcoming elections, and where you cast your ballot, you’re capable of steering this state toward your goals with the tool that matters most: Your Vote. (If you aren’t registered, take the steps below and share when complete.)
WHAT IF I’M NOT REGISTERED?
Follow this link to the “informal” voter registration form.
Now print it, sign it, and mail it to the voter registrar in your county of residence.
The online form is not enough for Texas. You are not registered until you have filled out, printed, signed, and mailed the application to your local County Voter Registrar.
Your County’s Voter Registrar will then process your application, and your registration becomes effective 30 days after it is submitted (and accepted) by the County Voter Registrar.
Generally, a voter registration form can also be obtained, filled out, and submitted in the same visit to your county’s election office.
WHAT IF I CAN’T VOTE DUE TO PREVIOUS INCARCERATION?
In Texas, a convicted felon regains the right to vote after completing their sentence. Therefore, once you have completed the punishment phase (including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by the court), you should be eligible to re-register and vote in the state of Texas. (source)
THE BOTTOM LINE
If it seems like Texas makes it difficult for you to register, consider that it’s because of the power your vote carries. Imagine if you banded together with thousands of other like-minded voters, and elected candidates and policies in line with what you want?
You’ve established that you’re a Texas voter… now it’s time to learn who got elected to represent you! In week 2, we’ll find out which officials are yours, and where they stand on the issue of cannabis law reform. See you next week!