The upcoming 2020 elections are a hot topic of conversation as the pandemic has affected the way we live, work and socialize.
To help Houston’s young professionals navigate the electoral system, HYPE hosted the virtual Know Before You Go: Election Hot Topics earlier this week. Lindsay Munoz, the Partnership's Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy discussed what changes to expect with COVID-19, what will be on the ballot and why it is so important for every eligible Houstonian to exercise their right to vote.
Here are the key takeaways:
• The Census deadline is quickly approaching. The new deadline for the 2020 Census is Monday, October 5. If you have not already done so, now is the time to fill out your Census. As we mentioned previously, the Census is important as it allocates federal dollars to help better our community and determines how the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are divided among the 50 states.
• Get registered to vote and make a voting plan. Time is also running out to get registered to vote. The last day to register to vote in Texas is also October 5. You need to fill out a new registration form if you have recently turned 18, moved or changed your name. Not sure if you need to change your voter registration? You can easily confirm your voter registration status online. After you confirm your registration, make sure you know how, where and when you will be voting. Don’t forget your state-issued ID. It is required at all polling locations.
• Key dates to remember for the election. Early voting begins on Tuesday, October 13 and ends Friday, October 30. Want to vote by mail? The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is Friday, October 30 (received, not postmarked). Tuesday, November 5 is Election Day.
• The polls will look at little different this year. Texas polling locations have put in place strict guidelines to help protect for voters from the spread of COVID-19. Six-foot social distancing markers will be placed throughout, hand sanitizer will be readily available, polls will be spread further apart and cleaned after each use and masks will be highly encouraged.