Registration Drives


Organizing a Voter Registration Drive
Who Can Register Persons To Vote?
Who Is Eligible to Be a Registered Voter?
When Is the Best Time For a Voter Registration Drive?
Where Is the Best Place to Register Voters?
What Materials Do I Need?


Voter registration drives are one of the most effective, productive and non-controversial political activities with which a church may be involved. Persons registering to vote at church voter registration drives are most often, church members or guests who have recently moved to a new residence and neglected to change their address with the local voter registrar. Most are ideological allies. Voter registration drives in churches are effective and render positive results.

Organizing a Voter Registration Drive   (go to top of page)

 First, one must get approval from church leadership and church legal counsel (if any). Then place an announcement in your church bulletin and/or your church newsletter about your voter registration drive. Recruit volunteers. In Texas, all volunteers must be deputized as Volunteer Deputy Registrars (VDR’s) through the local county Voter Registrar. (Click here to see a  List of Texas Voter Registrars by County ) Then you will need to set up your voter registration locations. You will need tables, chairs, materials, handouts, signs and posters. The number of locations, and the number of tables chairs and materials will depend on the size of your church and the anticipated number of persons registering to vote.

Who Can Register Persons To Vote?  (go to top of page)

In Texas, election laws permit any qualified voter to become a Volunteer Deputy Registrar (VDR). These persons are appointed by the county Voter Registrar. (Click here to see a  List of Texas Voter Registrars by County ) The appointment is usually automatically granted upon request. Once a person becomes a Volunteer Deputy Registrar, they perform their duties only in the county in which they are deputized which is the same as their county of residence. Appointments can be effective up to two years and expire on December 31 of even numbered years. Please note that it is illegal for persons not deputized to even physically handle the Applications for a Voter Registration Card or the combination forms for the Application for a Voter Registration Card. Detailed instructions are available from the local Voter Registrar. You must comply with the law.

Who Is Eligible to Be a Registered Voter?   (go to top of page)

In Texas, any person who is seventeen years and ten months of age or older, is a U.S. Citizen, is not a convicted felon, and has been a resident of the county for thirty or more days, may register to vote. A person must be registered to vote at their present residence address although there are a few exceptions.

When Is the Best Time For a Voter Registration Drive?   (go to top of page)

A voter registration drive can be done anytime however, a date near the voter registration deadline tends to render better results. In Texas, the deadline for registering to vote before any election is thirty days. Voter registration drives in churches have been observed to be more effective during the period of one to three Sundays immediately before the voter registration deadline prior to a major election. This date commonly occurs on the last two Sundays in September and/or the first two Sundays in October but will vary depending on the election. In Texas, there are four uniform election dates each year not including primary elections, runoff elections or special elections.

Where Is the Best Place to Register Voters?   (go to top of page)

Voter registration can be set up anywhere at your church. The most successful locations are near high pedestrian traffic areas where stopped traffic will cause minimal interference to pedestrian traffic patterns and not violate fire codes. You might consider locations in the narthex, foyer, atrium or near entrances and exits. In a large church you may need several locations or several persons working at one location or both.

What Materials Do I Need?   (go to top of page)

After you get organized and your physical set up is completed, you will need Applications for Voter Registration. These can be pre-printed post cards or a combination application receipt book or both. Other useful handouts that create interest and assist voters are a) An “Application for Ballot by Mail” (for those who qualify, this may be used by persons eligible or persons related to one eligible to vote by mail which includes persons over 65, persons disabled or temporarily incapacitated or persons expected to be out of town on election day and during the entire early voting period; b) A handout entitled “Just One Vote” (this is a list of trivia on elections showing historical information about elections where one vote affected the outcome); c) A “List of Websites” (this is a list of web addresses with information on voting, voter registration and sources for voter guides); d) Other handouts including educational material. Handouts printed on “Astrobright” or similar colored paper attract additional attention to your activities. It is wise to have one or two sheets of stick on labels for voter registrars in counties outside of your home county to be used in the event you have persons who reside in counties outside of the one where you are deputized as a Volunteer Deputy Registrar so you can make it easier for them to mail their application to their Voter Registrar.

Caution   (go to top of page)

Be careful not to give out candidate campaign literature or obvious partisan material unless it has been cleared with the leadership and/or legal counsel of your church. The information herein applies in Texas only. Your state might have different laws regulating the registration of voters.


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Copyright © 2004 Vision America
Last modified: 10/16/03

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