Elections office reports increased activity Tuesday

Whether Monday’s presidential debate contributed to the increase of voter registration in Cameron County on National Voter Registration Day is unknown, but there was an increase in traffic at the county’s elections office Tuesday, officials said.

Officials estimated that 81.4 million people tuned in for Monday’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the first of three scheduled before the November general election.

“ (The debate) could have motivated people to make sure that their registration status was updated and that they were going to be able to vote in this election,” said Remi Garza, administrator for the county’s Department of Elections and Voter Registration.

Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day, and Garza said his office experienced a rise in foot traffic of people wanting to register to vote and those wanting to check their registration status.

“People saw (that it was National Voter Registration Day) and were motivated to come and check on their registration status,” Garza said. “Some people filled out registration cards and some people just updated their information, and we had additional mail-in ballot applications received. Overall, I think it was a success because the county’s attention was brought to it, and we did see an increase in registrations and activity at our front desk.”

Officials had set up several locations throughout the county where residents could register to vote. As of Tuesday, the county had 194,590 registered voters, Garza said.

During the 2012 presidential election, the county had 179,000 registered voters. In last year’s Constitutional Amendment Election, the county had 184,000 registered voters.

“We’ve been having some pretty good jumps,” Garza said.

The county has been pushing to get more people registered to vote and has several partners working to get voters registered, holding events throughout the county.

Garza believes that as the Oct. 11 deadline to register draws closer the voter registration numbers will increase.

To be eligible to submit a voter registration application in Cameron County , you must be a United States citizen, at least 17 years and 10 months old and a resident of Cameron County . If you have moved or had a name change, your information should be updated as soon as possible.

For more information on voter registration in Cameron County , call (956) 544-0809.