Volunteers aim to add to voter rolls

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David Minton/DRC file photo
Local officials and volunteers are hoping voter registration drives will encourage people to exercise their right to vote, as they did in this May 2013 photo of polling at Denton’s North Branch Library.

The March primary election inches closer each day.

For those in Denton County who need to register to vote or who want to make sure their information is up to date and complies with the legal requirements to vote in March and future elections, there will be several chances starting Jan. 11.

A series of voter registration drives will be held at Golden Triangle Mall every second Saturday of the month, from January through April. The drives will be led by Mary C. Taylor, a deputy voter registrar for Denton County, along with a host of other volunteers.

“I know we have some young voters out there, folks who have just turned 18 and graduated from high school ... college students. We really want them to come out and get registered,” Taylor said.

New requirements could catch some people off guard. Taylor said some may have been purged from voter rolls, had a name change due to marriage or divorce, or changed their addresses. Now, the name on a voter’s identification card must match exactly with the name on the voter registration.

“The laws changed and maybe people weren’t paying attention, and they thought they were OK because they were registered to vote,” Taylor said.

A government-issued photo identification is now required when voting in Texas elections. The monthly voter drives will offer information about election identification certificates, available for free to people without a government-issued ID. With proper documents, it can be obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety, and it allows a resident to vote in every election.

This is the second time Taylor has led voter registration drives at the mall, and she is hoping to register more than the previous drives, which topped out at 40. She’s planning twice the number of voter drives as last year.

Dianne Edmondson, head of the Denton County Republican Party, lauded the mall registration drives and noted that the GOP is planning a number of events at several churches and will also register voters at the party headquarters in Corinth.

Texans do not register by party, unlike voters in some other states, she said.

“It doesn’t matter who registers you, but you identify by which primary you vote in,” Edmondson said. “I don’t think a lot of people know that because in some states it’s different.”

Phyllis Wolper, the Denton County Democratic Party leader, said every citizen should be registered to vote and should exercise that right.

“With the new voter ID requirements that come into play during this election season, it’s even more important for people to check their registration to make sure all that information is correct,” she said.

“These public drives will be a great opportunity for people to pull out their ID and make sure their voter information is correct so they will avoid any problems at the polling places during a national election,” she said.

For more information on the registration drives or for those interested in volunteering, e-mail texasvoterid@gmail.com.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.

ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?

A series of voter registration drives will be held every second Saturday of the month, from January to April, at Golden Triangle Mall, 2201 S. Interstate 35E. The first is Saturday. The schedule is as follows:

Jan. 11, 1 to 3 p.m.

Feb. 8, 1 to 3 p.m.

March 8, 1 to 3 p.m.

April 12, 1 to 3 p.m.


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