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Texans Still Can't Register To Vote Online. That Matters More In A Pandemic.

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Texas' October 5 deadline to register to vote in the November general election is right around the corner.

A lot is at stake in 2020, but new voter registrations in Texas were down nearly 24% for the first seven months of 2020, compared to 2016, and dropped 70% in April alone.

There's been an uptick in more recent months, but it might not be enough to get the state's number of registered voters to where it would have been if not for the coronavirus pandemic.

Most states have passed legislation to allow residents to register to vote online. Texas isn't one of them.

The state's Republican leadership has long fought online voter registration. What are their reasons? Does this constitute voter suppression?

Are both Democrats and Republicans struggling to register voters? Are other states also seeing lower registration rates?

How could lower registration numbers impact election outcomes? How have the courts weighed in on voting-related issues in Texas?

What's being done to ramp up registration ahead of the Oct. 5 deadline in Texas? How can Texans check their registration status, update their information as needed or get registered to vote for the first time?

Guests:

  • Alex Samuels, political reporter for The Texas Tribune
  • Myrna Perez, director of the Voting Rights and Elections Program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, September 22.

Kathleen Creedon can be reached at kathleen@tpr.org or on Twitter at @Kath_Creedon
Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.