Volunteer Deputy Registrar

A Volunteer Deputy Registrar must:

  • be a United States Citizen
  • not determined by final judgment of the court to be totally mentally incapacitated or partially incapacitated without the right to vote
  • not have been finally convicted of a felony, or, if convicted, must have: fully discharged the sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole or supervision, or been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disability to vote
  • not have been finally convicted of identity theft
  • be a Texas resident

How to Become a Volunteer Deputy Registrar

As of March 12, 2012, all new Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrars must attend a 30-minute training program at the Williamson County Elections Department in Georgetown. Trainings are offered the first and third Tuesday of each month at 2:00pm and 6:00pm. Please contact our office to reserve a seat by 12:00 pm on the day you wish to attend training. Class size is limited, so please be sure to reserve your spot prior to arriving for class.

Once you have completed your formal training, a staff member will issue you a certificate of appointment and give you a registration packet with instructions and supplies.

Important Note:  You may not accept registration applications until you have received the registration packet and the Certificate of Appointment from our office.


Duties of a Volunteer Deputy Registrar

A volunteer deputy voter registrar may distribute and accept a voter registration application form from any resident of the county who is:

  • A United States citizen
  • A Texas resident
  • At least 17 years and 10 months of age
  • Not a convicted felon (unless the person's sentence has been completed, including probation or parole)
  • Not a person who has been declared mentally disabled

A volunteer deputy voter registrar may distribute and accept applications from voters who wish to change or correct information on their voter registration certificate (such as name or address).
Checklist for a Volunteer Deputy Registrar

You should have:

  • A certificate of appointment;
  • A pen;
  • This brochure;
  • Plenty of voter registration applications; and
  • A receipt book.

The Texas Voting brochure provides information useful to you and applicants. It may be obtained from the Secretary of State's website or by calling 1.800.252.VOTE(8683).

Accepting Applications

  • You may help a person fill out an application.
  • Voters may correct or update information on their current voter registration certificate by filling out a new registration form and checking the "change" box.
  • You may help a person fill out the registration form if he/she cannot read or has a physical disability.
  • If an applicant cannot sign his/her name on the form, the applicant may make a mark on the signature line. Print the name of the applicant beside the mark. Sign your name and address as the witness and state the reason the applicant is unable to sign.
  • You may allow another registered voter (or anyone who has submitted a registration application) to fill out and sign an application for his or her spouse, parent or child. That person must sign the application as "agent" and state the relationship to the applicant on the registration form. The "agent" must have the permission of the applicant to do this.
  • Fill out a receipt for each applicant. Give the applicant the receipt. The duplicate receipt must be delivered to the voter registrar along with the application. You may wish to keep a copy or stub for your records.

Reviewing the Application

While the applicant is still in your presence, be sure to review the application for completeness. Be sure the application includes the following:

  • Full name, including any middle, maiden, or former name;
  • Residence address must be a street address or a description of the location of the residence;
  • Valid mailing address, if mail can't be delivered to the residence address;
  • Signature of applicant and date of signing;
  • Date of birth, including month, day, and year;
  • Citizenship question is answered either yes or no;
  • Be sure the applicant has read the statements that he is signing regarding qualifications to register; and
  • If an agent is registering for an applicant, be sure the agent provides his/her relationship to the applicant.

What you cannot do:

  • Determine if the applicant is actually qualified to register to vote;
  • Make the applicant provide his/her gender, social security or driver's license number; or
  • Make the applicant provide his/her telephone number.

When is the Registration Effective?

  • Tell the applicant that he can vote as soon as the 30th day after submitting the application. This 30-day waiting period starts when the volunteer deputy registrar receives the application form.
  • If the applicant is under 18, the registration will become effective on the 30th day after the voter registrar gets the application or on the applicant's 18th birthday, whichever comes later.

How long is the Registration Effective?

Tell the applicant that the registration will be automatically renewed every even-numbered year unless:

  • the voter moves to another address; or
  • is convicted of a felony and has not completed the sentence, probation or parole.

Address Changes

The voter must update the address on the registration if the voter moves within the county.

  • The voter can make the change on the back of the voter registration certificate and mail it to the county voter registrar;
  • Submit a new application form to the voter registrar and check the box for "change"; or
  • Write a letter to the voter registrar explaining the change of address.
Tell voters that if they move to another county, they must re-register in the new county.

Name Changes

  • Voters can make the change on the back of their voter registration certificate and mail it to the county voter registrar; or
  • Submit a new application form to the voter registrar and check the box for "change"; or
  • Write a letter to the voter registrar explaining the name change.

Delivery of Applications

You must deliver completed registration applications and receipts in person to the voter registrar no later than 5 p.m. on the 5th day after the date you receive them. FAILURE TO DELIVER AN APPLICATION IN A TIMELY MANNER IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

SPECIAL NOTE: To be eligible to vote, a person must be registered 30 days before Election Day. When you receive a completed application after the 34th day and before the 29th day before the date of any election in the county, you must deliver the application to the county voter registrar no later than 5 p.m. of the 29th day before Election Day. If the 29th day falls on a Saturday or Sunday or on a legal state or national holiday, the deadline for delivering the applications is extended to 5 p.m. of the next regular business day.

Length of Appointment

You may be appointed a deputy voter registrar at any time. However, your appointment as a deputy voter registrar can be terminated by the appointing authority if:

  • You fail to deliver a completed voter registration application to the registrar; or
  • If you failed to properly review a voter registration application.
  • All election materials issued to a deputy registrar, including the certificate of appointment, receipt books, receipts, applications and other forms in the volunteer deputy's possession, must be returned or accounted for upon termination of appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to become a statewide Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar?

No. Volunteer deputy registrar appointments are made on a county-by-county basis. Section 13.032 of the Code provides that a county may not refuse to appoint a resident of the county as a deputy registrar. A voter registrar may not refuse to appoint a volunteer deputy registrar on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, or national origin or ancestry.

Can I hand out voter registration applications without being deputized?

Yes.  Anyone can hand out blank application forms to voters for the voters to fill out and mail in themselves.  If this is all you want to do, you do not have to be a volunteer deputy registrar.  Also, if you are already a deputy registrar in one county, you can hand out blank forms in other counties where you are not a deputy.  It is the voter’s handing the application back to you to review and to deliver to the registrar that triggers the requirement to be an authorized deputy registrar.

As a Williamson County Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar can I accept applications for voters living in other counties?

No. Volunteer deputy voter registrar status is conferred on a county-by-county basis. To accept applications for Y or Z counties, you would have to become a volunteer deputy registrar for those counties. You could certainly give applications to the attendees from County Y and County Z and direct them to mail the application to the appropriate county voter registrar’s office. Under Section 13.044 of the Texas Election Code, a person commits a Class C misdemeanor by acting as a deputy registrar when he or she does not have an effective appointment as a deputy registrar.

What if someone submits an application but is already registered to vote?

You may wish to advise the person that the new application form will be treated as an update if the old registration is in the same county and the voter is providing new information.  If the person moved to a new county, he or she will need to register in the new county.

May I photocopy the applications that I accept?

No. Section 13.004(c-1) of the Texas Election Code requires the county voter registrar to ensure that certain information, such as the telephone number, on a registration application is redacted from photocopies of voter registration applications from her office. In our opinion, this means that a photocopy of an application must come directly from the county voter registrar’s office, so that she may ensure the required information has been blacked out or otherwise obscured. With that said, we believe that a volunteer deputy registrar may photocopy the receipt. You may also copy the relevant information from the application in writing just as you would be able to do if you went to the registrar’s office and pulled a copy of the original application.

Can I designate someone to return voter registrations applications in my place?

No. There are two methods for a volunteer deputy registrar to submit applications to the county voter registrar. First, the applications may be submitted by personal delivery by the deputy registrar. Second, the deputy registrar may give his or her applications to another volunteer deputy registrar for personal delivery to the county voter registrar.

I am a candidate. Am I eligible to become a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar?

Yes. There is no prohibition against a candidate or a campaign worker serving as a deputy registrar, as long as they have been officially appointed as a volunteer deputy registrar. Similarly, there is no prohibition against a deputy registrar registering voters at a campaign rally or event. While working a rally or public event, we believe a volunteer deputy registrar should offer registration to anyone who requests it.

What happens if I fail to deliver completed applications on time?

Submit them to the county voter registrar as soon as possible. Under the law, the voter’s registration is not impacted by your late delivery to the registrar.  However, you should deliver them as soon as possible.  Further delay will create problems in getting the lists ready in time for early voting and election day.  The registration process cannot be completed until you deliver the application. The registration is still effective and the voter still receives the effective date of submission to you.

As a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar can I appoint others to be Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrars?

No. Each volunteer deputy registrar must be appointed directly by the county voter registrar or that registrar’s deputy in the voter registrar’s office.

Is there a minimum age to become a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar?

Yes. A person must be at least 18 years of age to become a volunteer deputy registrar.