Voter registration deadlines near for upcoming election

Photo credit: Gavin Pugh

With a historic presidential election just around the corner, many Baylor students have yet to register to vote and do not know where to begin. Whether students choose to utilize an absentee ballot, plan to vote in their home county, or decide to register in McLennan County, some students are still unaware of the crucial deadlines and important steps to becoming registered.

“The first question students should ask themselves is whether they are registered to vote. Then, if so, they should ask themselves where they are registered,” said Mary Mann, Texas Democratic Women of Central Texas president. “Don’t just show up on Nov. 8 and expect to vote.”

Students can either register in McLennan County or their home county. If they choose to register in their home county ,they must submit either an absentee ballot or go home to vote on Election Day.

Students may begin to register to vote when they are 17 years and 10 months old, so the voter registration period for students turning 18 on or before Nov. 8 began Sept. 8 and ends Oct. 8, one month before Election Day.

The last day for students to register to vote is Oct. 11. The last day that a student’s home county office can receive their application for an absentee ballot by mail is Oct. 28.

Early voting begins Oct. 24 and ends Nov. 4. If students are already registered to vote outside of Waco and will be home between those dates, they may participate in early voting. Those who choose to stay in Waco during those dates can request an absentee ballot via mail by Oct. 28, and their ballot must be delivered to their home county office no later than 7 p.m. on Nov. 8, when the polls close. Absentee ballot request forms can be found at

For other who want to get involved in voter registration, visit the McLennan County Democrats website and the McLennan County Grassroots Republicans website for off-campus involvement. To learn about on-campus efforts to get students registered, visit the Baylor Democrats, the Baylor College Republicans and the Young Americans for Liberty on their Facebook pages.