The San Antonio-based 501(c)(4) organization MOVE Texas, which stands for Mobilize, Organize, Vote and Empower, clocked in on college campuses around San Antonio on Tuesday, September 25 to help students register to vote on National Voter Registration Day (NVRD).
This was the sixth annual NVRD.
“National Voter Registration Day was started by Matt Signer. We took part in it for the very first time in 2014 and it built upon it every year,” said Drew Galloway, executive director of MOVE San Antonio.
The holiday, which began in 2012 is, according to the official NVRD website, a celebration of democracy seeking “to create broad awareness of voter registration opportunities to reach tens of thousands of voters who may not register otherwise.”
MOVE Texas and the New Leaders Council San Antonio hosted a voter registration party at San Antonio’s Burleson Yard Beer Garden with speakers including, former United States Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, council members Ana Sandoval and Manny Pelaez, as well as 408th Civil District Court Judge Angelica Jimenez.
“National Voter Registration Day is important to me because this is when we register to exercise one of our most important rights. The right to vote not only means we elect who we feel is qualified and necessary for our community but this is the way the that we exercise our voice, this is the way that we are heard, this is the way that we shape our community what we feel it should be,” said Jimenez.
In order to register to vote in Bexar County, students must either go in person to the elections office on Frio Street, mail in an application to the elections office or register with a representative of the Texas Department of State called a Voter Deputy Registrar (VDR) who can register citizens to vote wherever they happen to be.
VDR’s are registered with each county in Texas with the local elections office and authorized through the Texas Secretary of State but usually work with a non partisan organization like MOVE Texas, to register citizens to vote.
MOVE Texas mobilized to register students on 14 college and university campuses in San Antonio, including UTSA’s Main Campus.
The organization registered a total of 5,375 voters on NVRD.
MOVE Texas also mobilized on other Texas university campuses, including Texas State University in San Marcos and Texas A&M International in Laredo, as well as six middle school and high school campuses around San Antonio to help busy parents register.
According to Galloway, “MOVE Texas is a grass roots, non partisan, non profit organization building power in underrepresented youth communities through civic education, leadership development and issue advocacy.”