It’s early September, and some activists - who maybe haven’t been very active lately due to the government’s pandemic response - are stirring and thinking maybe they should get active before the November election. At the end of this, I will list some important dates.
Yes. yes you should. And the time is now!
Here are some reasons to get busy now, and some ways you can help. I am focusing this article on Bexar County, but any of you from surrounding counties are encouraged to check your county elections page.
To officially sign people up to be registered voters, residents are asked to sign up to take a class. The classes are very small right now due to restrictions from government response to Covid19. Once you take the class and pass the test at the end of it, you swear in to be a Volunteer Deputy Registrars. They are entrusted with the responsibility of officially registering voters in the State of Texas. Current schedule has them Sept. 8, 15, 19.
You are required to sign up before the class, and because they are filling up fast, I suggest you call Bexar County Elections at 210-335-0371 now.
The final day to register and be eligible to vote in the November election is October 5.
Other ways you can help with the election - help keep it fair - help keep it safe - is to be an Elections Judge or Election Clerk. There is an application online (https://www.bexar.org/DocumentCenter/View/7390/Application-for-Election-Judge-or-Clerk?bidId) that you must complete and mail in or take to the office address listed at the bottom. Clerks and judges are paid position, and when you sign up you are making a commitment. Once they receive your application, they will schedule you for a training class. If become an election official, you will never again take these election workers for granted!
Both major political parties also get volunteer poll watchers to oversee election sites and keep the process fair. The Texas Secretary of State Elections Department has a downloadable guide for poll watchers (https://bexargop.org/resources/poll-watchers-guide/) Bexar County Republican Party Headquarters has volunteer forms so they can try to make sure there are poll watchers at every polling location. I recommend going to the office at 12000 Starcrest Drive, San Antonio, 78247. The HQ is open 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays) and Saturdays 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
In general, blockwalking a precinct, giving out information on candidates and reminding voters of dates and times for voting is each precinct chair’s primary duty. These precincts are large, though, and precinct chairs appreciate volunteers who come help them reach voters. However, every candidate also needs block walkers. These volunteers will cover areas where there is no precinct chair and knock on doors of swing voters to sway them to vote for the candidate.
Bexar County Republican Party Headquarters,call 210 824-9445 and ask to be put in touch with your precinct chair or the campaign for whichever candidate you want to help most.
Frequently, campaigns need someone to call voters. You’ve all gotten the calls… but if you experience it from the other side, realizing these are volunteers trying to help, you might learn an appreciation for them.
Volunteers will meet at headquarters to make these calls. Or, the campaign may give you a list of phone numbers to call from your own home.
October 5 - Final day that voter registration cards must reach Bexar County Elections to be eligible to vote in this election.
October 23 - Last day to have a vote by mail application reach Bexar Elections. Voting by mail is open for people who will be out of town during early voting, who are disabled, who are age 65 or older, or who are in jail.
October 19-30 - Polls are open during this timeframe (most days) to vote in the election
November 2 - Election Day