Today is the last day to register to vote.
The Cameron County Department of Elections and Voter Registration in Brownsville will be open until 6:30 p.m. to accommodate any last minute applications.
Applications can be mailed in today if a trip to the elections office is impossible. The process should be smooth so long as a resident’s information is current, Remi Garza, elections administrator, said.
Applications are available at the county annex buildings in Harlingen and San Benito. If volunteer deputy registrars are not available at those buildings today, then the applications will need to be either dropped in the mail today or taken to the elections office in Brownsville before 6:30 p.m.
Garza said the days leading up to the deadline have kept the office busy.
“Actually, our front desk and phones have been very active. We brought in extra people to answer calls, and it has been really busy — more so than any election I have seen,” Garza said.
Residents of Cameron County have called to ask when the registration deadline was, whether their registration was still valid, and what they could do if they had no time to drive to the elections office.
“People are being proactive this election, which is great. We want to see this happen,” Garza said.
Currently, the county has about 195,000 registered voters, about 16,000 more than the last presidential election.
In 2012, Cameron County had a 43 percent voter turnout, and in 2008, a 42 percent turnout.
Garza expects the participation to increase for the upcoming election.
“I believe that the interest that the debates have generated nationally and locally have spurred this activity,” Garza said. “I think it brings issues to the forefront so people are acting before it’s too late to register.”
When it comes to time to go to the polls, it is best to cast your vote during the early voting period, Garza said.
If you go on Election Day, it will be easier to avoid the crowds early in the morning, he added.
“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 explaining the reason and can instead present an alternative form of ID.
“We will be doing a general awareness outreach of where people can get information about the election. We’ll be highlighting sample ballots and encouraging people to research the propositions and the candidates so when they walk into the polls, they’re ready to cast their vote,” Garza said.
– Harlingen Annex
3302 Wilson Road
– San Benito Annex
1390 W. Expressway 83
– Elections Office Brownsville
1050 E. Madison