What To Do If Your Texas Voter Registration Is On The Suspense List
Updated Oct. 7, 2022
For any voter, but especially a first-time voter, it can be intimidating to find out that your voter registration has been suspended, especially if you’re at your polling place preparing to vote when you find out. However, there’s no need to worry — this is a common occurrence in every election, you aren’t in trouble, it’s fixable, and you can still vote! You may want to check your voter registration status online before you head to the polls to spare yourself the surprise though.
By checking your registration status well in advance of Election Day and taking the steps to correct your information with your county, you can save yourself the hassle of scrambling to fix it on the day you plan to vote, and cast your ballot without stress! Below are the things you need to know, should you find your registration on the suspense list. And remember, if you have any problems at the polls, call 866-OUR-VOTE or visit texaselectionprotection.org.
1. Why is my voter registration on the “suspense” list?
If your registration is “in suspense,” that just means that (for some reason) the person in charge of registration in your county is not sure of your address. One reason for this could be a voter registration challenge.
What is a Voter Registration Challenge?: Texas law states that “a registered voter may challenge the registration of another voter of the same county”.
The person challenging another voter’s registration must send a sworn statement to the county’s voter registrar stating they have “personal knowledge” of a specific reason that voter’s registration may not be valid. Typically, the stated reason for a voter registration challenge has to do with the voter’s address.
The county will respond to a voter registration challenge by sending a Confirmation Notice to the voter whose registration has been challenged.
What is a Confirmation Notice?: Every county’s voter registrar has the responsibility of maintaining accurate voter rolls. When there is a question about the accuracy of a voter’s registration, the voter registrar sends out a confirmation notice to that voter requesting information to confirm the accuracy of the information on their voter registration.
What Should I Do if I Receive a Confirmation Notice?:
DO NOT ignore it, forget about it, or throw it away
Check the status of your voter registration either online or by contacting your county’s voter registrar, AND
Reply to the notice with the requested information no later than 30 days after you receive the notice
What if I Don’t Respond to the Confirmation Notice within 30 days?: If you don’t respond to a confirmation notice within 30 days, or your name appears on a list of nonresidents in your county, then you will be placed on the Suspense List. On the voter rolls, an ‘S’ mark will appear next to your name.
2. How do I get off the suspense list?
Return the confirmation notice with the required information to your county’s voter registrar, OR
When you vote, you will be asked to fill out a statement of residence which will take your name off the suspense list
3. Can I Still vote if I’m on the suspense list?
YES you can. Being on the Suspense List DOES NOT cancel your voter registration unless you fail to respond to the Confirmation Notice AND do not vote in the next two General Elections after being put on the Suspense List. So while you have time to make sure that your registration does not get canceled, you should get the issue resolved ASAP!
4. I’m moving. How do I avoid being put on the suspense list?
Update your registration by filling out a new voter registration application. If you’re moving to a new county, check “New Application” at the top of the form. If you’re moving within the same county, check “Change of Address, Name, or Other Information” at the top of the form. The deadline to change your address for the midterm election is October 11. Texans can now change their voter registration address online at this website.
Not so bad, right? Suspensions happen all the time and are easy to fix, so don’t sweat it if you find out you’re on the list. Just correct your information and cast that ballot! And remember, if you have any problems at the polls, call 866-OUR-VOTE or visit texaselectionprotection.org.
Ash Hall is the digital coordinator at the Texas Civil Rights project. Special thanks to the voting rights team at TCRP for compiling this information.