Veteran reports difficulty with voter registration
Army National Guard discovered problem too late, unable to vote
John Loveridge said he discovered a problem with his Department of Public Safety voter registration request too late to vote in the Presidential election.
“I’m definitely an American that is proud to vote, but I’ve found a little difficulty this year,” Loveridge said.
Loveridge, a 24-year Army National Guard veteran, said he found out on the second day of early voting when he was informed he was not registered to vote after all.
After moving to San Antonio from Idaho, Loveridge said he thought he was “truly Texan” after getting a new driver’s license and registering his vehicles at his nearby DPS office, where he also learned he could register to vote.
An estimated 610,000 voter registration requests this year have been forwarded electronically to the Secretary of State without any problems, according to Tom Vinger, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
However, Jacque Callanen, Bexar County elections administrator, said her office has been taking calls about DPS from people like Loveridge.
Callanen said they can vote with provisional ballots that are later cross-checked with the actual paperwork filled in at DPS offices by those prospective voters.
“Probably 60 percent of the time they are registered, but the other 40 percent didn’t check the second box, the one that said, ‘I choose to be a registered voter,'” Callanen said.
Loveridge said he thought he had done that along with other paperwork that day at the DPS office, but he never got his voter registration card.
Vinger said he urges people who don’t have their cards after 30 days to check with their local elections office.
He also said before driver’s license customers leave, they should check the receipt they’ve been given indicating their voter registration process has begun.
Loveridge said it’s a case of voter beware.
“You’ve got to find out the rules and make sure you’re in the system before it’s too late,” Loveridge said.
Callanen said those that are not registered can still use a provisional ballot that won’t count, but automatically registers them for the future elections.
Still, Callanen said, “We are talking to some disappointed people.”
“I hope it turns out the way I would have voted,” said Loveridge. “If it didn’t, I’ll realize it wasn’t my fault.”
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