At ABC13, we believe our democracy works best when we all participate, which is why election officials and community organizers are speaking with us in a town hall, highlighting what you need to know to exercise your right to vote amid the pandemic.
Eyewitness News reporter Miya Shay and her panel took your questions about voting in the 2020 election, dispelling myths about mail-in ballots in Texas, and sharing how activists are working to register voters and fight voter suppression in our most underserved communities.
Panelists for the town hall included:
- Chris Hollins, Harris County Clerk
- John Oldham, Fort Bend County election administrator
- Dr. Annie Benifield, League of Women Voters-Houston
- Debbie Chen, OCA-Greater Houston
- Alim Adatia, Ismaili Council for the Southwestern U.S.
- Stephanie Gómez, Texas Civil Rights Project
While Texas grapples with the virus, activists told Eyewitness News they have pivoted to drive-thru and virtual voter registration events out of an abundance of caution and safety.
In Harris and Fort Bend counties, election officials are working to innovate the ways we vote, seeking to expand early voting dates, hours and locations, encouraging at-risk voters to submit absentee ballots, and substituting older election workers susceptible to coronavirus infections with students ready to assist precincts across the region.
For voters in Texas, time is of the essence. The deadline to register to vote in the 2020 presidential election is Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. Qualified voters must request absentee (mail-in) ballots no later than Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.