Mall voter registration drives are good idea

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Aseries of voter registration drives planned at Golden Triangle Mall could help pave the way for a problem-free election this spring, and we believe it’s an idea worth repeating.

The drives will be held at Golden Triangle Mall on the second Saturday each month 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.

The drives are designed not just to sign up new voters but also to help residents make sure their information is up to date and meets legal requirements to vote.

We like the proactive approach. Encouraging voter registration is something we should all be doing because turnout in most recent elections has been disappointing. And making sure potential voters meet all legal requirements is a goal that everyone should be able to support, no matter what our political affiliation may be.

We also appreciate the timeliness of the effort. Some new voter requirements could catch people off guard, Taylor told us. Some may have been purged from voter rolls, had a name change due to marriage or divorce or changed their addresses.

Government-issued photo identification is now required when voting in Texas elections, and 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.

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.

Phyllis Wolper, the Denton County Democratic Party leader, said the public drives will provide a great opportunity for people to pull out their IDs and make sure their voter information is correct so they will avoid potential problems at the polls.

“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,” Wolper said.

A first mall voter registration drive will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. Others are planned Feb. 8, March 8 and April 12. For more information or to volunteer to help with a drive, e-mail texasvoterid@gmail.com.

Holding registration drives at the mall might not result in an immediate bumper crop of new voters, but it’s certainly a good place to start.

We encourage others to join these and similar efforts to register and inform residents about election guidelines — let’s all work to get out the vote.


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