By Anna Whitney, Digital Director
Our state’s laws make it unnecessarily difficult to register voters — in fact, The Nation wrote a piece about how Texas’ voter registration laws are straight out of the Jim Crow playbook. That’s why we’re here to explain the process and make it easy for you to help your fellow Texans make their voices heard.
In order to register voters in Texas, you must be trained by your county as a Volunteer Deputy Registrar (VDR) — also known as getting “deputized” to register voters. It’s a quick and easy training, but we need more Texans like you to commit to getting trained to register voters.
Meet Karen, a Volunteer Deputy Registrar in Dallas.
There are a few qualifications to becoming a Volunteer Deputy Registrar. You must be over 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, a resident of the state of Texas, and not been finally convicted of a felony or of identity theft (more info here).
Meet those criteria? You can register voters! Here are the steps to becoming a VDR.
Steps to becoming a Volunteer Deputy Registrar:
- Find out whether your county hosts Volunteer Deputy Registrar classes, or whether you can just review the laws online and go into the Elections Department anytime during business hours to take a short quiz on the laws and get deputized on the spot. It depends on the county you live in.
- Depending on your county’s requirements, you’ll then attend the class or review the online training materials and make a plan to visit the Elections office to take your test
- Get issued your certificate to register voters by the county
Once you’re a certified VDR, you’re ready to go out in your community to register voters!
Please note that getting deputized in your county means you’re only able to register voters who live in your county. If you want to register voters who live in multiple counties, be sure to get deputized in all of those counties.
You can get trained to become a VDR at any time, but your certificate expires on December 31st of every even-numbered year — make sure you get re-trained at the beginning of every odd-numbered year.