Secretary of State Rolando Pablos Must Obey the Law & Do His Job

Under the Texas election code, high school principals are required to provide at least two opportunities for eligible students to register to vote every year.

However, data from the 2016 election shows that too few high schools are providing their students with the opportunity to participate in the democratic process.

In 2016, just 198 of 1,428 public high schools in Texas, or 14%, and zero private high school requested voter registration forms in the semester before the voter registration deadline.

On September 5, 2017, our partners at the Texas Civil Rights Project delivered a letter to Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos demanding that he not only comply with the state law, but that he do so in a way that takes substantive steps to actually empower Texas high schools to get their students registered.

Rolando Pablos has written an op-ed in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram that says, essentially, “Principals, this is your problem.” His office has otherwise refused to comment.

So we’re going demand that the Texas Secretary of State to take a more direct, proactive role in helping register high school students across the state to vote. And we’re going to call, email, write postcards, and visit his office until he does.

Here’s what Secretary of State Rolando Pablos needs to do:

  1. Distribute voter registration applications to all Texas high schools every year, instead of requiring high schools to to submit a written request for these applications themselves
  2. Ensure that all Texas high schools offer their senior students who are eligible to vote an opportunity to register to vote by instituting a tracking process that would gauge the success of each high school’s implementation of the law
  3. Enhance procedures that notify all Texas high schools of the need to comply with the law
  4. Create trainings for all Texas high schools in order to ensure all legal duties and administrative rules are clear
  5. Enforce state law to ensure that all Texas high schools are in full compliance and register their students to vote.

Directed by Greg Abbott, Pablos’ office already complied with the Trump’s sham “election integrity commission”. We simply refuse to accept further efforts by his office at voter suppression–in this case, by not complying with an existing law.

High school students are the future of our democracy. The Secretary of State must do more to ensure all eligible students are registered to vote.

Contact:
Secretary of State Rolando Pablos

Email: secretary@sos.texas.gov or elections@sos.texas.gov

Phone: (512) 463-5650 or 1-800-252-8683

Fax: (512) 475-2811

Sample Script:

Hello there, my name is ____ and I live in <YOUR ZIP CODE>. I’m calling today because the Secretary of State needs to take a more active role in helping register high school students across the state to vote.

Under Texas election code, high school principals, public and private, are required to register eligible students to vote two times a year. However, only fourteen percent of schools even requested voter registration forms, and zero private schools requested any. High schools are simply not complying with this law.

We are petitioning the Secretary of State’s office to automatically send voter registration cards to the high schools instead of high schools requesting the cards themselves. We are asking that the Secretary of State enhance procedures that notify all Texas high schools of the need to comply with this law. We are also asking that the Secretary of State’s office create trainings for all Texas high schools in order to ensure all legal duties and administrative rules are clear. And we’re demanding that the Secretary of State enforce state law to ensure that all Texas high schools are in full compliance and that they register their students to vote.

 

High school students are the future of our democracy. The Secretary of State must do more to ensure all eligible students are registered to vote.