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20121002 Texas Secretary of State Esperanza- Andrade Visit 0004Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade with Progress Times Publisher Jim Brunson. Progress Times photo by Sean DowneyTexas Secretary of State Hope Andrade stopped for a deskside visit with Progress Times Publisher Jim Brunson Tuesday morning. Andrade was making a trip through the Rio Grande Valley this week to encourage people to get out and vote.

She wanted to remind local residents that the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming general election is Tuesday, Oct. 9.

For people who are not sure if they are registered, she offered a helpful solution.

“We’ve got a very friendly website: You can go in there and check if you’re registered to vote. If you’re not registered, you can download an application, complete it, and mail it in. It’s that simple” she said.

For those without a computer, she suggested stopping by the local library or any county office and pick up an application and mail it in.

“As long as it’s postmarked by Oct. 9, you will be able to vote in the general election,” she said.

Early voting begins Oct. 22 and continues through Nov. 2.

Encouraging voters to vote early, Andrade said, “If you vote early, it only takes you a few minutes. You can stop at any polling place in your county and vote. Normally, for me, when I go in and vote early – 5 to 10 minutes. So we don’t want you to use that as an excuse.”

She said some people will say, “My vote doesn’t count.”

“It absolutely does,” she emphasized. “And we want to make sure people understand that. Your vote does count. We have had communities where you’ve had a tie in the voting at the election. We had one that was 111 to 111.”

That election was decided by the toss of a coin, she said.

“So every vote does count. And it’s important that we vote. This is our right as an American, and we should exercise it.”

She also stressed that no voter ID will be required in the upcoming election. Although the state legislature passed a voter ID law, the Department of Justice did not give the state pre-clearance to implement the law.

She said, people will continue to vote in the same manner they have always voted, which is by showing their voter registration card. Or, voters can show their driver’s license or any other means of identification that’s on the website list of approved items.

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