Deputy voter registrars — the volunteers and political operatives who register voters — watched their certifications become as useless as old calendars at midnight Wednesday. Like replacing calendars, attending a training seminar and obtaining a new deputy voter registrar certification every two years isn’t exactly a new problem. Certifications have expired every even-numbered year since the late 1980s. For Battleground Texas, though, the certification process poses a particularly large hurdle. Nearly 9,000 volunteers with the Democratic Party-affiliated organization have become deputy voter registrars as part of a coordinated campaign to boost voter turnout. Volunteers will have to attend training seminars in every county where they want to register voters.
“No other state requires volunteers to jump through these hoops just to register voters,” said Communications Director Erica Sakin, a spokeswoman for Battleground Texas, who added that volunteers may have to miss work or attend multiple training seminars to comply with the law.
Battleground Texas also released a strongly worded statement about the certification requirement.
“This past year, nearly 9,000 Battleground Texas volunteers navigated through Texas’ arcane rules to be able to register Texans to vote — helping our state reach a record 14 million registered voters in 2014,” according to the statement by Executive Director Jenn Brown. “Unfortunately, because Texas Republicans have passed some of the strictest voter registration laws on the books, every volunteer deputy registrar who was trained and officially deputized by their county will have to get deputized again to continue their important work.”