With the 2020 presidential election approaching, advertisements for campaigns are inescapable. Any voter will be hit with a barrage of ads by all candidates, but said voter isn’t readily given information on how to vote.
“Many students here on campus have never even voted before because they don’t know how,” said Lauren Tyler, director of student life.
Usually Student Senate, TJC’s student government body, holds voter registration meetings near election dates to help students start their democratic journey.
“We had over 65 students get registered at one meeting, which is quite a few in an hour,” Tyler said about a meeting for 2018’s midterm elections. However, with COVID-19 having made its way to the semester such meetings cannot happen. This creates some problematic steps for those wanting to take part in the democratic process, but don’t know where to start.
So, here is a rundown of local Smith County voter registration and early voting information.
Before filling out anything, potential voters can check their registration status by using the “Am I Registered” search function from votetexas.gov. Here, they can use either a Voter Unique Identifier, Texas driver’s license number or personal county information to access voting status.
For those who are not registered, Oct. 5 marks the deadline for voter registration in Smith County.
Potential voters can register in person at the Smith County Elections Office, which is located downtown at 302 E. Ferguson in Tyler. Here, one can fill out the voter registration application and to turn it in at the elections office.
The application can also be found at votetexas.gov, filled out beforehand, and mailed or dropped off at the Smith County Elections Administration Office at 302 E Ferguson, Tyler, Texas 75702. For the application, a Texas driver’s license, Texas personal I.D. or the last four digits of one’s Social Security number is required along with a residence address and mailing address. This address section is important seeing as this determines the county in which one can vote.
If students are from out of town and living on campus, they must register their address here to ensure they will be able to vote here in Smith County rather than their hometown.
Once the application is turned in, wait for acceptance and head to a voting location on election day.