Voters line up on the first day of early voting at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in South Dallas in October 2020. Bret Redman

Politics & Government

PSA: Thursday Is the Last Day to Register to Vote in May Elections

Dallas has historically been pretty bad at turning out for city elections. Will this year buck the trend?

Dallas voters have a habit of putting up respectable numbers in presidential elections—turnout in Dallas County in November was at 66 percent—and then vanishing when it comes time to elect city council members or school board trustees. Turnout in municipal elections in Dallas has historically been among the lowest in the country. You could blame this on any number of things, none of them really being “personal responsibility or lack thereof.”

But at some point, working within the confines of the system we have and assuming you think widespread participation in democratic processes is a good thing, you have to register to vote yourself. Hence, this public service announcement: Thursday, April 1, is the last day to register to vote in Texas for May 1 elections. (Early voting, such a big hit in November, begins April 19.)

You can’t register online, but you can go to the Dallas County Elections website and print out an application. Fill that out and mail it in to the county registrar, whose address is helpfully included on that print-out. No postage required, and as long as it’s postmarked on or before April 1, you’re in. Alternately, head to the office to register directly. The address is 1520 Round Table Dr. in Dallas, and it’s open until 7 o’clock tonight. (Many post offices also have voter registration forms lying around; you can call yours and ask.)

What exactly are we voting on? If you live in Dallas, odds are good you’re deciding on your district’s city council member. There are more than 50 people running for 14 seats. The good news is you’ll only need to familiarize yourself with the candidates running in whichever district you call home. That’s still a lot of people, and we’ll look to have some more on them in the coming weeks. But first, let’s register to vote.

Update (12:30 p.m.): If nothing above has got you feeling #hype2vote, chug a Monster Energy Drink and bang your freakin’ head to this dubstep-inflected video from the city of Dallas.

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