By Willie Sanchez
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
March 5 is the last day to register to vote in the April 3 Texas Primary but beware: some students may have a problem voting in this state.
One of the biggest hurdles lie with students who are not from San Antonio or Bexar County. The website www.votexas.org offers plenty of information for the Primary Election as well as the General Election set Nov. 6. Votexas.org suggests the first thing a student needs to do is register to vote. Information on how can be found on the website.
There are a couple of ways a student can register to vote. One is to use their parents’ address as their permanent address. Keep in mind that choosing this option may result in having to go someplace else to vote, like one’s hometown. Voting by mail is another option. Begin applying for a mail ballots as early as Feb. 3. Early voting will take place March 19 to March 30. The last day to apply for a mail ballot is March 27.
Another option is to register using a school address. The addresses on IDs do not have to match the address on voter registration cards but names do have to match. Keep in mind that only one registration address is allowed. Choose either a school address or a permanent address. If registered out of state, laws and mail-in ballots may differ from Texas.
Concerning acceptable identification, the state of Texas is currently trying to pass a law that will limit the type of identification accepted when voting. The only IDs that would be accepted are a Texas driver’s license, military ID, personal ID card, U.S.-issued passport, concealed handgun license, Election Identification Permit, or citizenship papers that also contain a photo.
Students should ensure they have the correct registration requirements and the proper identification to be able to vote. The primaries will determine who will be running in the General Election later this year. To get more information on getting a Texas ID or driver’s license, visit http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/.
Democrats can still vote in the Republican primary. According to www.gorena.org, the state of Texas does require registration with one party or the other. One can vote in either a Republican Primary or a Democratic Primary. When it comes to the General Election, voters do not have to vote in the same party they did in the primary.
Currently www.republicancandidateshq.com has the following candidates on the ballot: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Gary Johnson, Fred Krager, Andy Martin, Thaddeus McCotter, Jimmy McMillan, Tom Miller, Buddy Roemer and Vern Wuensche. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has officially withdrawn from the running.
According to a Jan. 22 Associated Press article, “Delay in Texas primaries costs incumbents,” the U. S. Supreme Court threw out interim political maps drawn by San Antonio federal courts. This means Texans could possibly have to wait to vote in the primary. The original date of the primary was scheduled for March 6 but was pushed back to April 3. The Supreme Court stated the maps have not been approved under the Voting Rights Act.
Although this change in date may not affect the voters, it could change the candidates’ plans for campaigning. The biggest advantage a candidate has is name recognition and fundraising. A delay in the primary will give them more time to campaign and raise funds.
According to AP, Steve Munisteri, chairman of the Republican Party, wanted an early primary “to give Texas the greatest possible voice in the presidential race…” Some fear with a late primary that the influence of Texas voters may lessen.
San Antonio courts could have new maps as early as mid-February but it is more likely the primary will take place mid-to-late April.