On Friday morning, February 24th, Travis County Voter Registration hosted a town hall for our Volunteer Deputy Registrars. The purpose of this town hall was to introduce our new location on 2433 Ridgepoint Dr, our brand-new training room, and to have a discussion and Q&A about voter registration.
Also, we wanted to take the time to honor our 100+ Club Winners! For those that do not know, our 100+ Club Winners are any of our VDRs who register more than 100 people in a VDR Cycle. A VDR Cycle begins on January 1st of the odd-numbered year and ends on December 31st of the even-numbered year. So, a 100+ Club Winner will have registered over 100 people to vote in just two years!
Gretchen Nagy, Director of Travis County Voter Registration, and Meg Pettersson, the VDR Training and Outreach Coordinator, set up a lovely arrangement for our VDRs, including refreshments, and of course coffee. Bruce Elfant, our Voter Registrar also hosted the town hall, answering questions and informing our VDRs about upcoming voter registration opportunities.
We were also excited to show off our new training facilities! In the past Travis County Voter Registration hosted trainings in our Main Tax Office lobby, or in areas hosted by partners. While we are proud of our past ingenuity, and for the flexibility of our partners and VDRs, we are certainly excited to level up to having our own facilities to train future VDRs!
Those VDRs who attended the town hall included James Hallemak and Brian Pena. James and Brian are prominent organizers within University Democrats at the University of Texas. Because of this, we had many discussions surrounding registering college students to vote, as well as getting out the vote on the university level. We also had many clarifying discussions for registering students to vote.
For example, Brian asked about voting with an out-of-state photo ID, since many UT students only have that as a form of government photo identification.
“You should be able to vote, even if you are using an out-of-state ID,” Meg Pettersson explained, “If you go to register to vote with an out of state government issued photo ID, you will complete Reasonable Impediment Declaration.”
It should also be noted that there are many different types of government issued photo IDs one can use to vote, including a passport. For more information about that, you can check out our FAQ here.
We also discussed plans that Travis County Voter Registration has for the future, such as the creation and utilization of voter registration kiosks. According to Gretchen Nagy, these kiosks will allow voters to fill out their voter registration form using a keyboard or touchscreen. The kiosk will also include a printer, so that upon completing the form, the voter and present VDR can sign and date the form. This way, we will comply with the state requirements of having a “wet” signature, but it will be more convenient for both the voters and administration.
“As time progresses, we are realizing more and more that people expect to be able to fill something out online,” Nagy stated, “until we reach online voter registration, we are trying our best to accommodate these expectations.”
Overall, we spent around an hour and a half discussing future strategies and answering questions in regard to voter registration and getting out the vote. Upon completing the town hall, we took a moment to honor our 100+ Club Winners!
Our winners who attended include James Hallemak, Brian Pena, and Maia Lustgarten. We are incredibly grateful for their dedication to registering voters and are happy to have had the opportunity to honor them then and now. We are also very grateful to all of the VDRs who attended our town hall. We hope to host many more town halls in the future!