Double-check registration status ahead of March primary


As the March 5 primary election approaches, McLennan County voters who have not received one of the new yellow registration cards mailed out last month should verify that they are registered to vote, officials said.

They should also be alert to blue cards notifying them of a need to provide addressing or other information.

The deadline to register for the primary is Feb. 5. Early voting begins Feb. 20 and ends March 1.

Voters who have previously registered should have already received a vivid yellow voter registration certificate that the McLennan County Elections Administrator’s Office mailed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Elections Administrator Jared Goldsmith said by phone Friday. In addition, people who have moved since the last time they voted should contact elections officials to update their address.

“Don’t wait till the last minute,” Goldsmith said. “If you want to vote in the primary and you haven’t received the new (yellow) certificate, you should update your voter registration or register for the first time.”

Voters may verify their registration or update their address online at Those who don’t use digital devices may call the county elections office at 254-757-5043. Registered voters will be prompted to supply any information that needs to be updated.

Some voters may also have received a blue voter registration confirmation card from Goldsmith and his staff seeking to verify information.

Some may be alarmed to see state-mandated language on the blue card cautioning that they will see their registration canceled if they fail to respond to the notice or do not confirm their address “when voting before November 30 following the second general election for state and county officers that occurs after the date the confirmation notice is mailed.”

This does not mean registrations have been cancelled or will be cancelled soon, Goldsmith said.

“People who received this card last summer or last fall and do nothing, will not be removed from the vote rolls until the end of November following the midterm Congressional election in 2026,” Goldsmith said. “If you received a confirmation notice (card) before the last Congressional election in 2022, you will have until the end of November following the Presidential election later this year before you have to worry about being removed from the voter rolls.”

The simplest way to update voter registration is to fill out a voter registration address confirmation card, sign it in ink and mail it back to the county elections administrator’s office, or respond online.

Those who are registering to vote for the first time in Texas cannot do so online. They must sign and mail a voter registration form to the county elections office.

Previously registered voters who do not receive the new yellow certificate and do not update their registration will likely see their registration put in “suspense” status, Goldsmith said.

In that case, the voter may still cast a limited ballot at any county vote center but will be asked to fill out a “statement of residence,” allowing the vote to be validated later.

“Statements of residence may be filled out at the polling place to vote during early voting or on Election Day,” Goldsmith said. “But you’ll vote a limited ballot, which won’t include all the contests you would have if you update your registration beforehand.”

Limited ballots include only contests which would be on both the ballot in the last place a voter registered and the place they are voting now, Goldsmith said.

“My staff will process the completed and signed statement of residence to update the voter’s registration,” Goldsmith said.

Updating the rolls

The elections administrator’s office continually updates the voter rolls, Goldsmith said. His staff sends out address confirmation notices any time they have returned mail from the post office.

“Anytime we send something to a voter, and the post office returns it to us, we send out an address confirmation notice,” Goldsmith said. “If the post office gives us a forwarding address we’ll send the confirmation notice there.”

There are also times when the elections office may receive a “purge list.”

“Sometimes in the past we have received lists of people that others want removed from the voter rolls,” Goldsmith said. Those lists could include voters who may have died or moved out of the county.

“When get such a list we don’t start deleting names left and right. We send out the voter registration address confirmation notices to the people on the list.”

Goldsmith said sending that notice starts a clock ticking that will run through two federal election cycles. It could be a little longer than two years, if the notice goes out right before a federal election. Or it could be close to four years if it goes out after one.

Voting by mail

Voters who are disabled or 65 and older may send a request to the early voting clerk to vote by mail in all elections all year.

People who are about give birth a few weeks before an election or who will be out of town on the election may send in a request to vote by mail for that election.

Requests to vote by mail for the March 5 primary must be received at the elections office, not postmarked, before 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23.

With two months to go before the March 2024 primary, now is the time to register, McLennan County Republican Party Chairman Bradford Holland said by phone Friday.


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