Last chance for voter registration

Tomorrow is the last day for people to register to vote in the Nov. 8 general election.

To accommodate as many last minute registrations as possible, the Cameron County Department of Elections and Voter Registration in Brownsville will be open until 6:30 p.m. today and tomorrow.

The county annex in Harlingen is at 3302 Wilson Road.

“Everything is on the application. We remind (people) that if they have their driver’s license, that can help the process go more quickly in Austin,” said Remi Garza, elections administrator.

Currently, the county has about 195,000 registered voters, a 16,000 increase over the last presidential election.

That number should continue to grow, Garza said.

“We’ve actually had to bring on additional staff to process the applications so nobody gets held up at the polling booth,” Garza said.

The growing numbers have given the department cause to reevaluate what they think the turnout will be.

In 2012, Cameron County had a 43 percent voter turnout, a 1-percent decrease from the 2008 presidential election.

“We’ve been working with different groups to get those numbers up and get people who aren’t registered. We’ve gone to high schools, colleges, anywhere we think there are people that may not have had a chance to drop by our office,” Garza said.

Garza encourages people to vote during the early voting period to avoid the long lines. But if they cannot make it until Election Day, going in the morning will help.

“There are some propositions on the ballot, so give yourself the time to properly cast the ballot,” Garza said.

Election Day is Nov. 8. The early voting period begins Oct. 24 and continues to Nov. 4.

Voters will need to bring one of seven approved forms of photo identification to vote. If a voter does not possess a photo ID, they will be allowed to vote after submitting a written statement about the reason and can instead present an alternative form of ID.