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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Voter registration unlocked

Photo by Alyssa Gafford-Gaby

Volunteer voter registrars met on Sept. 12 to register new Brazos County voters in Bryan.

The A&M campus and Bryan College Station are both a part of Brazos County, so all students who are Texas residents can register to vote here — whether they live on or off campus — before the Oct. 5 deadline.


No printer? No problem.
Not having a printer to print the voter registration form is a barrier for some students, so Texas Rising has streamlined the process. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused exclusively on civic engagement among the young adults, the website allows anyone to fill out the form electronically. Texas Rising will then print the completed form and mail it back.
Students only have to then sign the form and mail it to the Brazos County registrar’s office to complete registration.
“A really big misconception from college students about voting is how difficult it is,” Hannah Hughes, Texas Rising Central Texas field manager, said. “The process is very easy because we make it easy.”
Any group can request a Texas Rising Zoom session to fill out the voter registration application, check registration status and update mailing addresses, Hughes said, by emailing the A&M chapter at [email protected].
Aggies for Latinx Politics, Heritage and Arts was created this semester, but founder and president Miranda Calderon said the organization is already helping the Latinx community register to vote.
“We really want to … increase civic engagement within the Latinx community, specifically at A&M through voter registration drives [and] letter writing,” Calderon, a junior political science major, said. ALPHA recently held their first in-person voter registration drive at Rudder Plaza.


Having a mailbox is key
Residence hall addresses can seem tricky, but students can use the physical location of the dorm, including their room number, when registering to vote, Hughes said.
In-person registration usually includes a receipt that can help students use a provisional ballot if trouble arises at a polling site.
The online application doesn’t offer a receipt so the student must trust the state has received and successfully accepted the application, Hughes said. Having a mailbox is key to receive a voter registration card which is vital to prove eligibility at a polling place.
“Because of COVID, I’m unable to give anyone a receipt, so I’d say right now during this time it’s very important that you have a place to receive your mail,” Hughes said.
English senior Lydia Hill said she is changing her voter registration to Brazos County from her hometown in Brenham.
“I’m in College Station right now, and I figured it would be best to be registered to vote here just because I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to go back to my hometown,” Hill said.
Whoever wins the presidential election will affect everyone for the next four years, said Hill.
“The younger demographic doesn’t go out and vote as much,” Hill said. “I think that it’s really important to have our voice heard.”


Voting & social justice go hand in hand
Black Lives Matter BCS recently held the “Pull Up and Register Block Party” at Sadie Thomas Park in Bryan. Ebony Peterson said the group she co-founded a year ago works to spread awareness of social injustices experienced by the Black community in Brazos County.
“We [knew] that we needed to make sure that the community was registered to vote so we basically said why don’t we go out into the community and do a pull up and register event,” said Peterson. “That way we could continue social distancing.”
The Young Democrats of the Brazos Valley, other volunteers and local and state candidates helped coordinate the drive-up event, Peterson said, and anyone can help at future Black Lives Matter BCS events by emailing [email protected].
“My grandparents really fought hard for us to be able to vote,” Peterson said, “so voting has to be important if the Black community had to fight for it.”

This story is a collaboration between The Battalion and upperclassmen in Texas A&M’s journalism degree. To see the online copy of the “All Things Voting” print edition, click here.

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