VR Groups: Recently Registered Voters Turned Away

From Common Cause:

Common Cause, Mi Familia Vota and Others Take Steps to Ensure No Voter is Turned Away 

Houston – Some voters who registered close to the state’s Oct. 9 registration deadline are being turned away from the polls instead of being allowed to cast their ballots, a coalition of grassroots organizations said today.  The groups, which include the League of Young Voters, Common Cause, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Advancement Project, immediately notified the appropriate County officials  to resolve the issue and will continue to share any reports from the field or 866-Our-Vote hotline.

Voters at several locations reported being turned away from the polls at Early Vote locations on Monday and Tuesday of this week because their registration card had an effective date of November 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th. According to state law, those voters are eligible to vote during the Early Vote period and not just on Election Day which is November 6th.

“It’s is important that the voice of every eligible voter is heard and that they are not turned away from voting. Any registered voter turned away on Monday or Tuesday needs to understand that they can vote and they can vote early,” said Maureen Haver, Election Protection Coordinator at Common Cause. “Any voter having trouble casting their ballots during early votingor on Election Day should call the voter protection hotline at 1 -866 – OUR-VOTE or 1- 888 – VE-Y-VOTA.”

The groups said the issue with newly registered voters can be easily resolved if election judges and poll workers accept valid registration certificates and update it to the rolls or call the county to verify new registrations.  Verification can also be done online.

Coalition members said they would continue to work with the County to ensure that all poll workers and election judges are aware of the proper procedure in addressing eligible voters who have not been updated to the voter rolls prepared for the Early Vote period.

“The County is aware of this issue, but we will continue to monitor for any voters being turned away from early voting,” said Christina Sanders, state director of The Texas League of Young Votes Education Fund. “We will also continue to assure every registered voter that they can indeed cast their ballots even if the effective date on their registration card is after the Early Vote period which ends on November 2.”

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