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Monday is the final day to register to vote and the last chance to complete the census

Monday is the final day to register to vote and the last chance to complete the census

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The weather is turning cooler, the election -- hopefully -- is almost over and there are several dates in coming weeks we all need to remember.

First up is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election. You cannot register online, but you can download a voter registration form at www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/vr-with-receipt.pdf. You may drop the completed form off at the Brazos County Clerk's office at the Brazos County Courthouse on Monday. Or, you my mail the completed form to:

Brazos County Elections Administration Office

300 E. Wm. J. Bryan Pkwy.

Suite 100

Bryan, TX 77803

To be valid, the envelope must be postmarked by Oct. 5.

The early voting period this election was extended earlier this year by Gov. Greg Abbott because of the coronavirus. Early voting will start on Oct. 13 and will run through Oct. 30. Early voting will be at five locations throughout the count and voters may cast their early ballot at any of the five.

Early voting locations are:

• Brazos County Administration Building, 200 S. Texas Ave. in Downtown Bryan.

Bryan, Texas

• Arena Hall, 2906 Tabor Road Tabor Road & N. Earl Rudder Freeway in Bryan.

• Galilee Baptist Church, 804 N. Logan in Bryan•

• College Station Utilities Meeting & Training Facility, 1603 Graham Road in College Station.

• Memorial Student Center (MSC), Room L526, on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station.

Hours to vote early are at any of the locations are:

• Oct. 13 through Oct. 17, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Oct. 19 through Oct. 23, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Oct. 24, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Oct. 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Oct. 26 through Oct. 30, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To vote -- either early or on Election Day -- voters must show one of the following forms of photo identification:

• Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

• Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

• Texas personal identification card issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

• Texas license to carry a handgun issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

• United States military identification card containing the voter's photograph.

• United States citizenship certificate containing the voter's photograph.

• United States passport.

If the voter does not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these forms of identification may fill out a declaration at the polls explaining why and bring one of the following supporting documents:

• Valid voter registration certificate.

• Certified birth certificate (must be an original).

• Copy of or an original current utility bill.

• Copy of or an original bank statement.

• Copy of or original government check.

• Copy of or an original paycheck.

• Copy of or original government document with the voter's name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph).

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.

Certain voters are eligible to vote by mail, including registered voters 65 or older, voters who cite a disability or an illness, or are confined in jail but still eligible to vote. Also, voters who will not be in the county where they're registered on Election Day and during the entire early voting period also mail request a ballot by mail.

Voting by mail is a two-step process. Voters must download and print the two-page Application for Ballot by Mail form located at www.sos.texas.gov/elections/voter/reqabbm.shtml. Fill out the form completely and mail it to Brazos County Elections Administration Office, 300 E. Wm. J. Bryan Parkway, Suite 100 in Bryan TX 77803. Make sure to affix the required postage. The application for the vote by mail ballot must be received by the election clerk by Oct. 23, but Trudy Hancock, Brazos County elections administrator, urges potential vote by mail voters to get the request for a ballot as soon as possible.

A ballot then will be mailed to the voter. Complete it and mail it back. The completed ballot must be postmsrked no later than Election Day.

All elections matter and every vote counts. Make sure yours is one of them.

Oct. 5 also is the deadline for completing the census process. If you have not yet filled out the census form, you still may do so online or by phone. For instructions on how to complete the census process, go to www.2020census.gov.

Why is it important that you complete the census from? Many government programs are based on population, so if you did not complete the census, then your community will be considered smaller than it actually is and won't receive as much of money back from the federal government.

The census is not a way for government to spy on you and control you. It's not a way to deport you if you are not here legally. It simply is a way to know how many people live where.

Don't be afraid to fill out the census. Please know that it is important to fill out the form by Monday.

Fill out the census form to be counted, register to vote -- and then vote so your voice can be heard.

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