By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
Residents will have their last chance to register to vote in city and school board elections in Bell and Lampasas counties this week but can still register for the primary elections until the end of the month.
"It is so important (for residents) to have their basic right to vote," said Dorothy Person, elections administrator for Lampasas. "In local and county elections, every single vote really does count, and it is your right to choose who you want in your governing body."
Thursday is the last day to register for the May 12 city elections, and April 30 is the deadline to register for the May 29 primaries.
Coryell County municipal elections will be held in November, so the April 12 registration deadline doesn't apply to its residents.
Residents who haven't registered to vote can pick up cards at any county office or annex, as well as city halls in Bell, Coryell and Lampasas counties, said the elections officials in the three counties.
Cards also can be found at locations where residents renew their driver's licenses, and in Lampasas, at the city's public library and the post office.
Lampasas and Coryell counties already have sent out voter registration cards to roughly 45,000 already-registered voters, and residents should have their documents.
The 152,000 registered voters in Bell County, however, don't yet have voter cards, said Sharon Long, tax assessor-collector. The county is expecting to mail out the cards on April 16.
Once residents get their cards, they need to make sure the information is correct and that they are listed in the correct districts and precincts.
There has a been a lot of confusion this year with state redistricting maps, so it is important that residents double-check the information, said Justin Carothers, tax assessor-collector for Coryell County. Residents can do so by calling or going to the counties' websites and the Texas secretary of state's website.
Person said residents also should confirm that the cards shows them as living in the city. "If it doesn't show them as being in a city, but they believe they are in a city, they need to let us know right away so we can check," she said.
Residents who have moved and don't receive a voter registration card in the mail should also contact one of the three offices to change their addresses.
Voting is a very important citizen's role in all governments, said Long.
"It is our civic responsible to participate in the democratic process," said Carothers.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHCoveEditor.
Bell County: (254) 933-5319, www.bellcountytx.com/taxassessor
Coryell County: (254) 547-4285, www.coryellcountytax.com/
Lampasas County: (512) 556-8271, www.co.lampasas.tx.us
What's needed to vote
The Justice Department's refusal to allow implementation of the Texas voter ID law in March means that there are no changes in voter registration documentation. Current law states that residents wanting to vote must have a voter registration card and at least one of the following:
A driver's license or personal identification card issued the resident by the Texas Department of Public Safety, or a similar document issued the resident by an agency of another state, even if the license or card has expired.
A form of identification that contains a photograph and establishes the resident's identity.
A birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes the person's identity.
U.S. citizenship papers.
A U.S. passport.
Official mail addressed to you by a governmental entity.
A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address.
- Texas secretary of state