Need Help Voting? Call 844-TXVOTES

Texas Democratic Party volunteers fielding calls on help lines

With still a few hours to the 7pm voting deadline — and long lines at polling stations promising overtime and record turnouts — phone volunteers are fielding calls from voters about polls, procedures, and timing (not candidates). Call 844-898-6837.

Working from what in a different context might be called a “boiler room” atop the One Highland Center building near ACC Highland — the election day headquarters of the Texas Democratic Party — a couple of dozen volunteers (nearly all women) have been catching calls from across the state from voters hoping for directions, instructions, and (not always successfully) dispensation from the baroque regulations the state of Texas imposes on Texans attempting to exercise their right to vote.

Voting is difficult,” said Austin volunteer Shanda Sansing. “They make it as difficult as possible,” she said, noting that election day is not the optimum time to be getting that last bit of vital information. “The people that are mostly regretting it are the ones that waited until today.”

Sansing said there’s a wide range of questions, adding, “We don’t tell people who to vote for.” People who have been traveling (including some professional truckers), people who wanted to mail in ballots (too late), elderly people who need rides to or help at the polls. “Although it’s very crowded today, and you might have to wait, if you got a ride to the polls and can’t walk in, your driver can go in and ask somebody to come to the car and help you vote.”

Sansing noted that in some other states, voters can register and vote on the same day — not so in Texas. On the other hand, in some 60 Texas counties (e.g., large urban counties like Travis and Harris), people can vote today wherever there’s a “voting center” indicated by a “Vote Here/Aqui” sign. And if you’re in line by 7pm, the poll will remain open until everyone in line at that time has an opportunity to vote.

More information is available on the Travis County Clerk’s election web site — or by calling these volunteers, at 844-TXVOTES.

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