Jul 26, 2022 - News

Aiming to get Texas voters to polls, nonprofit contacts Austinites

A letter from VoteRiders to an Austin voter.
A letter sent from VoteRiders to an Austin voter. Photo: Asher Price/Axios

Apparently it's never too early to put voter ID information in front of Texans.

Driving the news: Some voters in the Austin area have been getting letters from VoteRiders, a nonpartisan nonprofit founded in California, about the types of identification required to vote.

What they're saying: "​​You need to act as soon as you can to get the ID you need to cast a ballot," executive director Lauren Kunis tells Axios. "Our message is to prepare as early as you can, to make sure you're not caught flat-footed at the polls."

Between the lines: Texas is one of seven states to have enacted stricter voter ID rules since the 2020 elections.

  • The organization plans to spend at least $300,000 this year on its efforts in Texas, which include staffing, PSAs and digital campaigns, text messages and letter writing to eligible voters, and helping them obtain state-issued ID.
  • Kunis tells Axios that in addition to its initial letter campaign to 10,000 Texas voters most impacted by voter ID laws — including students, seniors who no longer drive and people of color — the organization is now contacting 25,000 Texas voters whose ballots were rejected in the March primary.
  • VoteRiders is also operating in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

By the numbers: More than 17 million Texans were registered to vote in the March primary — but fewer than one in five actually cast a ballot.

Zoom out: Texas is one of 36 states with a voter identification law.

  • Yes, but: You can still cast a provisional ballot in Texas if you don't have an acceptable ID with you when you vote.

The bottom line: Registering — and later turning out — voters sympathetic to your message is the political equivalent of trench warfare, and the campaigns of Gov. Greg Abbott and challenger Beto O'Rourke are spending these dog-day summer months doing just that.

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