August 12, 2020
The Travis County Tax Office is offering contactless voter registration with the Text2Register tool that allows users to register to vote in any of the state’s 254 counties.
The tax office is partnering with the national, nonprofit Register2Vote in Austin that provides voter registration for every Texas county and state in the nation.
To use Text2Register, send the word “Register” to 48683 (IVOTE).
The tax office first launched Text2Register in August 2015 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. More than 85% of those who registered with Text2Register voted.
“The program became so well known that people outside of Travis County tried to use it, but it was only designed for our county,” said Bruce Elfant, the Travis County voter registrar and tax assessor-collector. “What we are offering now is Text2Register 2.0, giving everyone the opportunity to safely register to vote.”
The Text2Register program was developed by former state Senator Joe Christie. Originally, it was designed with young people in mind, especially those at local colleges and universities.
Now, with the COVID-19 virus, the county’s more than 8,000 volunteer deputy registrars cannot host the large voter registration drives that are common for elections and Text2Register can fill the gap.
“Most states offer online voter registration, but Texas prohibits it,” said Elfant, a strong advocate for online voter registration. “Text2Register gets you registered the easiest way possible in our state where a signed voter registration form is required.”
Here’s how it works:
- Text “Register” to 48683.
- Use the link provided to fill out the voter registration form.
- The tax office mails you the filled out voter registration form.
- Sign and date the form. Place the form in the provided postage-paid envelope.
- Drop the envelope in any U.S. mail postal box or post office.