Victoria County has more than 52,000 registered voters but some 7,500 of these people are designated “Suspense” voters. That’s almost 15% of the people registered in this county. Some of these people will show up on Election Day and wish to vote and may not get the chance to cast a ballot.

Voter registration has three main requirements. First you must be a U.S. Citizen, second you must be at least 18 years old and third you must be a resident of the county. The voter registration application requires each applicant to address these three issues. You must affirm that you are a citizen of the United States. You must give your date of birth. You must provide your current residence address within the county.

It is the residency requirement which may affect the voter’s status. Everyone provides their current place of residence on the date of registration but some people may have moved since their original registration. Changing residency requires you inform the voter registrar of the new address. This is not done through address changes with the postal service. It is not an automatic change when a driver’s license or identification card is updated. The change of voter registration must be made directly to the voter registrar.

The consequences of not updating your residency could be showing up at the wrong polling place. Under Texas law voting on Election Day must be done at your precinct polling location. Each polling location has a ballot specific to that voting precinct. Voters may vote only on those races and candidates to which they are entitled. A voter on suspense may not vote in their new district but must return to their old neighborhood. If you tried to do this right before the close of voting you may not have enough time to get back.

If you moved to another county since your original registration you could be listed in that county as a voter and were cancelled in Victoria County. Even if you have an orange card from Victoria County, cancellation of our registration would mean you would not be allowed to vote.

The easiest method to check your status is to review your voter registration card. The current card is orange and white and has an expiration date of 12-31-2009. New cards for 2008 where mailed last November. Last year’s yellow and white card is no longer valid. If you have an old card you should contact the voter registrar.

Another thing you must check is the residence address listed on your voter registration card. If your residence address has changed, even just across the street or down the block, you must inform the voter registrar.

There are many ways to update your voter registration information. If you have your current or old voter registration card you may use the back of the card to provide corrected information. Mail the card to the voter registrar. If you need to update your driver’s license or identity card you may also request that the voter registrar be informed of the changes. This is not an automatic notification and is performed only at your specific request.

You may contact the voter registrar by phone and request an application be sent to your current residence. Fill out the application and return it to the voter registrar no later than 30 days prior to the election.

The Victoria County Elections Office can be contacted at 576-0124 or you mail your request to 111 N. Glass, Victoria, Texas 77901.