Clock’s ticking for first time voters to get registered

Lauryn Chavez | staff writer

The deadline for registering to vote will be October 5 for this year’s election. And people that are planning to vote for the first time this year may be unaware of that.

“We’re in Bexar County and Bexar County has a website ‘Bexar.org’ and that is where you’re going to go. They have links where you can fill out a registration form. In fact I just did it for my husband just about three weeks ago because 30 days prior to an election you have to be registered to vote,” US History teacher Sandra Guenther said. “So I filled it out and he signed it and I mailed it to our county of voting office in downtown San Antonio.”

Registration forms can be found online at Bexar County’s website, but the deadline is fast approaching.

“Registration is designed to make voting somewhat legitimate even though we know people will abuse that. So when you do register and you get a card, you will take your little card and your ID, you do have to have some form of identification to vote, and that identification has to prove that it’s who you are with your address. They can get really funny if you show up and your address is different than your registration card. There may even be a chance that they may not let you vote. So you want to make sure that all your credentials are up-to-date,” Guenther said.

To prevent people from abusing the system, everyone has to pay attention to the details to make sure their vote counts.

“This election is going to be a tiny bit different because they are allowing certain people to vote by mail, and I’m sure you’ve heard that’s been a huge concern because people can manipulate the mail. But you still have to actually register to vote by mail,” Guenther said. “If I wanted to vote by mail, which I don’t, I have to show and prove – because remember, we’re in a pandemic – I now have to show and prove that I have concerns for that and so I apply for a mail-in ballot.”

This election year mail-in-ballots will be allowed, but you need to send an ABBM (Application for Ballot by Mail ) form into the voter registration office as well and meet the criteria for mail-in voting.

“There’s always been absentee mail vote in that’s usually used for military or military who is overseas they automatically do an absentee mail-in so this is going to be the first time we’re going to see actual Americans that aren’t military voting by mail. And so there are concerns because people are going, ‘well, the US Postal service – they lose my packages, are they gonna lose my mail-in ballot?’ Unfortunately, I guess we’ll see how it goes,” Guenther said.

There are risks to mail-in-voting as your ballot might get lost and could be unaccounted for. 

“So voting takes place every November, the first Tuesday of November for something and it’s not always for presidential. That’s every four years because Congressman are different – some are two years, some are three years, so it’s kind of a never-ending cycle. There’s always something to go vote for,” Guenther said. 

As students turn eighteen and join the voting population, they are just going to need to pay attention to the details and deadlines.

“I think my registration card is good for two years. I think I may have to re-register every two. I always get a notification, I always register. I am a voter. I am a die-hard advocate of voting and you can’t complain or moan and groan if you don’t go and say this is who I think is the best choice for that position that is the blessing of this country,” Guenther said.

 

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About The Author

Lauryn Chavez is a junior, this being her third year as a staff writer. This is her fourth year in a journalism program. Lauryn loves playing competitive soccer for school and club, baking, and spending time with her two dogs.

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