Redistricting: Are You Really Registered to Vote?

The fight over Texas redistricting is holding up more than just the primary election. It's also the reason voters haven't received their voter registration cards in the mail.

Every January in even numbered years, Harris County sends out new voter registration certificates to all voters.

This year, Voter Registrar Don Sumners says there’s no way to know when those cards will be sent out.

“Because of the redistricting lawsuits, those certificates have not been mailed. And until we are able to get the final approved maps from the court, we aren’t able to assign the voters to the correct districts and precincts.”

This might not sound like a big deal, but Sumners says his office has received more than 6,000 calls from worried voters wondering why they haven’t received their cards. Turns out the culprit for much of the concern was an email rumor.

“We found out that there was a email circulating that was telling voters that since their cards had expired on December 31st of 2011, that they would have to reapply for voter certificates. And this is not true.”

Sumners says the only people who need to contact the registrar’s office are those who have recently moved in the county. For everyone else, he says…

Voters should just sit tight. We’ll get their new certs to them as soon as we can and they’ll have them in time for the primary.”

Right now, the Texas primary is tentatively scheduled for May 29th, but redistricting maps have not yet been approved.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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