BEAUMONT, Texas — Officials are stressing how important it is for residents to register to vote and have their voices heard during the upcoming elections.
In May, Beaumont residents will vote for who they feel should hold the mayoral and several school board member seats. The deadline to register to vote in the joint municipal and school board elections is April 6, 2023.
With the deadline being less than two weeks away, officials feel the time for residents to register is now.
"The local elections probably have a bigger impact on everyone's daily life than elections in Austin or Washington," Thomas Taschinger, retired opinion editor for the Beaumont Enterprise and political analyst, said.
The political expert believes area elections have a major impact on the day-to-day lives of members of the community. He feels area elections are often overlooked.
"Local election that elects your city council members, your school board members. These people directly impact you and your children,” Taschinger said. “What streets get paved, what schools are opened or closed, what are the starting and closing times for those schools."
Those wanting to have their voices heard can register in person at their area tax office, online by visiting votetexas.gov or by printing a registration form off of the website to mail in.
"People can vote online through votetexas.gov,” Laurie Leister, county clerk chief deputy, said. “They can print out an application on our website, or they can come in person."
Jefferson County has more than 250,000 residents and only some are registered voters.
"There are about 148,000 registered voters, but it changes every day," Leister said.
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Residents are encouraged to bring an accepted form of identification with them when registering. Examples of accepted forms of identification include a Texas driver's license or identification card and a passport.
The application will require information from a person registering to vote.
"It needs your name, your address, date of birth, your Texas Driver's license number," Leister said.
Before registering to vote, residents are encouraged to check their addresses.
"It's important to have the address accurate,” Leister said. “So if you can do that ahead of time, that would be terrific."
Those wanting to register have until the end of the work day on April 6, 2023 to register in person, and all online applicants have until midnight. All mail-in registrations must be sent and stamped by April 6, 2023.