For any voter, but especially a first-time voter, it can be intimidating to find out that your voter registration has been suspended, especially if you’re at your polling place preparing to vote when you find out. However, there’s no need to worry — this is a common occurrence in every election, you aren’t in trouble, it’s fixable, and you can still vote! You may want to check your voter registration status online before you head to the polls to spare yourself the surprise though.
By checking your registration status well in advance of Election Day and taking the steps to correct your information with your county, you can save yourself the hassle of scrambling to fix it on the day you plan to vote, and cast your ballot without stress! Below are the things you need to know, should you find your registration on the suspense list. And remember, if you have any problems at the polls, call 866-OUR-VOTE or visit texaselectionprotection.org.
1. Why is my voter registration on the “suspense,” list?
If your registration is “in suspense,” that just means that (for some reason) the person in charge of registration in your county is not sure of your address.
2. How do I get off the suspense list?
If you receive mail asking you to confirm your address, fill it out and mail it back to the county and they will take you off the suspense list. If you go to vote without returning the mailer (and thus are still on the suspense list), you will just have to sign a “Statement of Residence” confirming your address when you check in to vote.
3. Can I vote if I’m on the suspense list?
Yes! When you show up to the polls, you will just have to sign a “Statement of Residence” confirming your address when you check in to vote. Depending on whether you moved within the same county or between counties since the last time you updated your voter registration, you may have to vote during Early Voting only, at the county’s main voting polling place only, or with a Limited Ballot only. To double check, call your County Election Office before heading out to vote.
4. I’m moving. How do I avoid being put on the suspense list?
Update your registration by filling out a new voter registration application. If you’re moving to a new county, check “New Application” at the top of the form. If you’re moving within the same county, check “Change of Address, Name, or Other Information” at the top of the form. The deadline to change your address for the Presidential Election was October 5, 2020, so at this point, you may just want to cast your ballot as soon as possible using the address you plan to vacate, and update your voter registration once you move.
Not so bad, right? Suspensions happen all the time and are easy to fix, so don’t sweat it if you find out you’re on the list. Just correct your information and cast that ballot! And remember, if you have any problems at the polls, call 866-OUR-VOTE or visit texaselectionprotection.org.
Ash Hall is the digital coordinator at the Texas Civil Rights project. Special thanks to the voting rights team at TCRP for compiling this information.