All Sections refer to Texas Election Code unless otherwise noted.
HOW TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER DEPUTY
- Visit the Jefferson County Voter Registration Office
- If you are eligible, a staff member will issue you a certificate of appointment and give you a registration packet with instructions and supplies.
Eligibility and Appointment
The voter registrar shall appoint as deputy registrars people who volunteer to serve. A person must be 18 years of age or older in order to serve. [Sec. 13.031]
Meet the requirements to be a qualified voter [Sec. 11.002]
Have not been finally convicted of a felony, or if so convicted, have been fully discharged from the sentence or completed a period of probation ordered by the court or been pardoned.
A voter registrar may not refuse to appoint someone who is a resident of the county or refuse to appoint someone on the basis of sex, race, creed, color, or national origin, or ancestry. [Sec. 13.032]
Not have been convicted of identity theft [Sec. 32.51]
A volunteer deputy registrar serves for a term which expires on December 31st of even-numbered years.
Certificate of Appointment
The voter registrar shall prepare a certificate of appointment in duplicate which contains the following:
the date of appointment;
the statement: "I, ____, Voter Registrar for ____ County, do
hereby appoint ____ as a volunteer deputy registrar for ____ County.";
the person's residence address;
the person's voter registration number, if any; and
a statement that the term of the appointment expires December 31 of an even numbered year, and a statement that the appoinment terminates on the person's final conviction for an offense for the failure to deliver a registration application and may terminate on the voter registrar's determination that the person failed to adequately review a registration application.
The voter registrar must sign the certificate and issue the original to the appointee, who must sign it upon receipt. The volunteer deputy registrar must present the certificate as identification upon request. [Sec. 13.033 (b)]
The voter registrar must maintain a file containing the duplicate certificates of appointment of the volunteer deputy registrars whose appointments are effective. [Sec. 13.034]
The voter registrar must maintain a file containing the duplicate certificates of the volunteer deputy registrars whose appointments have been terminated. The voter registrar must enter the date of and reason for termination on each duplicate certificate. [Sec. 13.035]
Supplies for a Volunteer Deputy Registrar
- A certificate of appointment
- A pen
- Voter Registration applications
- A receipt book
A volunteer deputy registrar's term is terminated for the following reasons:
expiration of term of appointment; or
final conviction for failure to deliver application.
The voter registrar MAY terminate the appointment of a volunteer deputy registrar on a determination by the voter registrar that the volunteer deputy registrar failed to adequately review a registration application.
On termination, the voter registrar must deliver written notice to the volunteer deputy registrar which directs the volunteer deputy registrar to:
stop volunteer deputy registrar activity immediately; and
deliver all certificates, forms, applications, and receipt to voter registrar within two days of the notice.
The voter registrar must REJECT all registration applications received by the former volunteer deputy registrar after termination. [Sec. 13.036]
Compensation and Bond
Volunteer deputy registrars may not receive compensation from the county for service unless compensation is authorized by the commissioners' court.
No bond required. [Sec. 13.037]
Powers and Duties
Volunteer deputy registrars may distribute voter registration application forms in the county and receive completed applications submitted in person [Sec. 13.038]
Review of application
On receipt of application, volunteer deputy registrar must review it for completeness in applicant's presence. If not complete, volunteer deputy registrar must return it to applicant for completion and resubmission.
Issuance of Receipt
On receipt of completed voter registration application form, the volunteer deputy registrar must prepare receipt in duplicate on form furnished by voter registrar.
Receipt must contain name of applicant and date submitted.
Volunteer deputy registrar must sign receipt in applicant's presence and give original to applicant.
Volunteer deputy registrar must deliver duplicate to voter registrar who must retain receipt with application, change form, or application for replacement certificate. [Sec. 13.040]
Delivery of applications to voter registrar [Sec. 13.042]
Must deliver in person or by personal delivery through another volunteer deputy registrar.
Generally, must be delivered to voter registrar not later than 4:30 p.m. of the fifth day after submitted to volunteer deputy registrar.
Application submitted after 34th day and before 29th day before an election must be delivered to voter registrar not later than 5:00 p.m. of the 29th day before election.
Date of submission of voter registration application form to volunteer deputy registrar is considered to be date of submission for effective date. [Secs. 13.04 and 13.042]
Failure to deliver application is a Class C misdemeanor or Class A misdemeanor, if intentional. [Sec. 13.043]
Purportedly acting as a volunteer deputy registrar when a person does not have an effective appointment is a Class C misdemeanor.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR VOLUNTEER DEPUTY REGISTRARS
Once I'm deputized, can I register individuals in other Texas counties?
Answer: No. Volunteer Deputy Registrars appointments are made on county-by-county basis
Do I have to be deputized as a volunteer registrar if I just want to hand out applications?
Answer: No. You do not have to be deputized to hand out applications. The individuals can mail them in themselves with the postage paid application or return the application to one of our three offices. If you plan to assist in filling out the application and/or hand delivering the application(s) to the voter registration office, then you must be deputized as a volunteer voter registrar.
I'm a volunteer deputy in another county; can I register individuals in Jefferson County?
Answer: No. You must be a resident of Jefferson County.
Once I'm deputized, can I appoint other individuals to assist me in registering individuals to vote?
Answer: No. All volunteers must be appointed by the Voter Registrar's Office.
Can I make copies of the voter registration applications?
Can I mail in completed applications?
Answer: No. You must hand deliver the application along with your receipt book or you can have another deputized volunteer turn them in for you.
I'm not a citizen of the United States; can I become a volunteer deputy?