Local Voter Registration Initiatives
Celebrate National Voter Registration Day and make sure your voice will be heard
By Holly Cowart
“Are you registered to vote?”
In this immensely important election year, the question has been impossible to avoid. From clipboards to billboards and every screen in between, the message is clear: your vote is your voice and everyone deserves to be heard.
If you’ve been putting it off, a little busy or simply overwhelmed, you’re still in luck. Local organizations are doing everything they can to inspire and engage voters across Texas with unique initiatives, making it as easy as possible to register before the final deadline on October 5th.
Today marks National Voter Registration Day, so there’s no better time to celebrate. Check your status, get on the list and keep up with important dates leading up to Election Day with these upcoming opportunities.
Through October 5
MOVE Texas is a grassroots organization focused on building our community’s next generation of civic leaders. Teaching underrepresented youth how to mobilize, organize, vote and empower, the nonprofit recently teamed up with McGarrah Jessee to create SP®EAD THE WO®D, a social campaign encouraging voters to wear their registration with pride. When registrants add the “®” symbol to their social media handles, they’ll help generate peer-to-peer discussion and activate unregistered voters to update their status. Registrants can shop and post the brand’s new line of merch, which gives 100 percent of proceeds back to Texas voting initiatives. MOVE Texas will also host Rock Your Reg: LIVE — a streaming event with live music, celebrity appearances and more starting at 5 p.m. September 22!
September 22, 28 & 29
The League of Women Voters Austin Area knows a thing or two about community engagement. Founded in 1919 by early suffragists that campaigned for women’s right to vote, the nonpartisan organization has set up shop at Alamo Drafthouse’s Slaughter Lane this fall. South Austin movie-goers can pop by from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. for a safe, curbside registration where members will also be giving out ballot-by-mail applications, election handouts and Census information – rain or shine!
Through October 5
If you’ve recently been out and about, you’ve probably come across one of these tables. The folks at Vote Up! realized that Austin voter registration numbers are behind compared to 2016, so they’ve popped up all over town to seamlessly blend everyday activities with civic duty. Whether you’re grabbing your groceries from Wheatsville, getting a jog in at Zilker Park or picking up your daily Juiceland, you can quickly cross registering to vote off the to-do list. Complete with hand sanitizer, a Volunteer Deputy Registrar and a free pen, there’s a pop-up near you. Double-check available dates and find it.
Fit2Vote is a social media campaign created by local instructor Jennie Bender with the goal to inspire activism throughout Austin’s vast fitness community. After recently hosting a fun Media Day gathering at the Carpenter Hotel, the organization has also planned a Studio Takeover for Saturday, October 3rd. Five different fitness studios across town will throw on a special Get Out The Vote playlist and hold Fit2Vote-themed classes featuring on-site voter registration. From instructors to clients, all are welcome to participate! Stay tuned for more information and the full schedule to come on Fit2Vote’s Instagram.
Beer really does make things better, including getting registered to vote! Jolt Initiative recently posted up at Jester King Brewery with the goal to increase local registration numbers while having some fun. Committed to enhancing civic engagement within Texas’ Latino communities, the nonprofit has been a huge force this year for getting voters engaged. Alongside more statewide initiatives, they’ll return to Jester King on October 4th so friends can grab a bite, try the latest ale and register just in time.
September 26 & 27, October 3 & 4
Bunkhouse is rolling out tons of helpful resources for future Austin voters this year. Along with an informative guide answering important questions on their website, you can catch voter registration booths (and free Topo Chico) outside of Jo’s Coffee Downtown and South Congress locations from 8am to 12pm on select dates. They’ve also launched a brand new Austin Motel Election Collection, which benefits the League of Women Voters and features motivational items like yard signs, bumper stickers and tote bags.