The Common Law

Are you registered to vote in November election?

As the presidential campaign hits its stride and political theatre takes center stage, people become energized to support their candidate. This often raises practical concerns about being qualified to cast your ballot in November. Listed below are some common questions about voter registration.

I really want to vote in this election, but I'm not registered to vote. How do I register?

According to the Texas secretary of state, the deadline to register and be eligible to vote in the Nov. 4 general election is Oct. 6. This means the voter registration application must be postmarked on or before Oct. 6. You should be able to get a voter registration application from several places, including your county registrar's office, most post offices, public libraries, or from the secretary of state's office.

I lost my voter certificate and haven't received one in the mail this year. Am I still registered?

You should check. You can confirm your registration status on the secretary of state's website (voterinfo.sos.state.tx.us/voterws/viw/faces/Introduction.jsp). The website allows you to base your search on your first and last name, Texas driver's license number, or your voter unique identifier. If computers aren't up your alley, you can call your county registrar's office to confirm your registration status.

I was registered to vote, but I moved last year. Can I still vote in November?

It depends on where you moved. If you moved to a new county, you must re-register to vote in your new county of residence by Oct. 6 in order to vote in the November election. If you moved within the same county where you were previously registered, you need to file the new address information in writing with your county registrar's office by Oct. 6. If you miss this deadline, you may return to your old precinct to vote.

Check out the Texas Secretary of State's website for more detailed information on these and other frequently asked questions (www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/pamphlets/faqs.shtml).

This election is important and will affect us on multiple levels. The Oct. 6 deadline is not far off. Be sure you take any necessary steps to register to vote so your voice will be heard.

Please submit column suggestions, questions, and comments to thecommonlaw@austinchronicle.com. Submission of potential topics does not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information submitted is subject to being included in future columns.

Marrs, Ellis & Hodge LLP, www.jmehlaw.com.

The material in this column is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute, nor is it a substitute for, legal advice. For advice on your specific facts and circumstances, consult a licensed attorney. You may wish to contact the Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas, a non-profit public service of the Austin Bar Association, at 512-472-8303 or www.austinlrs.com.

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