Text-2-Register offering voters easy way to register

FILE - Voting sign (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Voting sign (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Registering to vote can be as easy as sending a text.

Travis County Voter Registrar Bruce Elfant joined us in the studio to discuss the Text-2-Register program.

The free texting system registers Travis County residents with a process that starts by sending a text saying “register” to 48683. It then informs residents where the closest voting location is and reminds registered voters on Election Day to vote.

“There are more than 80 million people in the country who qualify as millennials loosely defined as someone between the ages of 18 and 35 and about half of them are not registered to vote,” said Elfant.

The challenge for county officials is to have 90 percent of eligible voters in the county registered before the presidential election. To reach the 90 percent goal, Elfant said around 70,000 people would need to register by October 2016, the registration deadline for the presidential election.

There has been controversy surrounding the Texas Voter ID law. A judge issued a ruling saying Texas was supposed to let voters know that even if they didn’t have an approved ID according to the law, they would still be able to vote as long as they filled out a form saying why they couldn’t get it.

Under Texas’ Voter ID law, in order to vote, you must bring one of the following:

  • Texas driver’s license issued by the Department of Public Safety
  • Texas election ID certificate
  • Texas personal ID card
  • Texas license to carry a handgun
  • US military ID card with your photograph
  • US citizenship certificate containing your photograph (doesn’t need to be current)
  • US passport

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