Voter registration deadline draws near; County receives $1.8 million grant for November election

A sign points voters to the entrance of the polling location Thursday for early voting at the Brownsville Public Library Southmost branch. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

Texas voters have just one week left to register to cast a ballot in the Nov. 3 general election. Your vote is your voice when it comes to choosing the next president, the residents who represent your community in Washington D.C. and Austin, and those who will maintain the responsibilities of your local government.

Monday, Oct. 5 is the registration deadline. Your application must be received by the registrar’s office by that date or be postmarked at least 30 days before election day.

Visit cameronvotes.com for information from the county’s election authority on deadlines, early voting dates, mail-in ballot deadlines, polling place information, and more.

Eligible Texans who want to vote by mail have until Oct. 23 to submit your application. Those who are eligible to utilize mail-in ballots in Texas include voters 65 years or older, those out of the county on election day or during early voting, Texans confined in jail with voting eligibility, and sick/disabled voters.

Although a lack of immunity to COVID-19 does not qualify as grounds to receive a mail-in ballot, residents are allowed to factor in medical history when making a determination as to whether casting a ballot in person places them at substantial risk of serious illness or injury.

The county has no legal authority to ask a voter to either prove their disabled status or even question the use of the “disabled” category when reviewing vote by mail applications. If a disabled voter’s application is filled out correctly, it cannot be denied.

The Cameron County Elections Department is reachable at (956) 544-0809 or elections@co.cameron.tx.us . Voter registration applications, as well as ballot by mail applications, can be sent to:

Elections Administrator Remi Garza 1050 E. Madison St., Brownsville, Texas 78520.

Early voting begins Oct. 13 and ends Oct. 30. Both poll workers and voters should be wearing masks inside polling stations.

The department announced on Monday it has received notice of a grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life for $1.8 million.

If approved at the Sept. 29 Commissioner’s Court meeting, the money will be used to cover absentee ballot assembly and processing equipment, support early voting sites, expand curbside voting, support in-person voting on election day, and purchase additional personal protective equipment for both voters and poll workers.

In a press release, Garza said “This is great news. We are grateful to have been awarded these funds…These funds will go a long way in making sure we can serve the voters and handle the challenges that we will face in the coming weeks.”

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com