POTTER COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – As the Jan. 31 deadline for voter registration for the March 2022 elections closes in, the Potter County Elections Administration Office reminded the community of new laws impacting voting eligibility across the state.
“With all of the new laws, voters may be wondering which laws directly affect them,” said the Potter County announcement, “One such law is Texas Senate Bill 1111. The purpose of this law is to ensure that voters are registering to vote at the place where they reside. Think of it as where you sleep when you leave work.”
Potter County Officials described the term “residence” in a few points and further regarded points of the law:
- “Residence” means one’s home.
- A person may not establish residence for the purpose of influencing the outcome of elections.
- A person does not lose the residence by leaving their home to go to another place temporarily.
- A person does not acquire a residence in a place to which the person has come to temporarily.
- A person may not establish a residence at any place the person has not lived.
- A person may not use a previous residence unless the person lives in the place at the time of registration and plans to stay.
Who does this impact? Potter County officials described two groups that are expected to be most affected:
- People who try to register to vote at “impossible” addresses.
- For example, those who use a PO Box as their address.
- Those who claim that their residence is at their place of business or employment.
Potter County Officials said that people in those groups may receive a letter asking that they update their registration and prove that they live where they have noted as their address. Some people do live at their place of business and may return the appropriate documents to validate their place of business as their residence.
“HOWEVER,” said the Potter County announcement, “if they do not live there and make the claim that they do, they can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor up to 180 days in jail and as much as a $2,000 fine.”
Officials noted that the “bottom-line” advice for voters would be to make sure that their residential address in their voter registration is the same as their home, although a person might use a post office box or place of employment or other address as a mailing address.