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In order to vote in this summer’s Republican and Democratic Party runoff elections on July 14, you must be registered to vote by Monday, June 15, as we reported earlier this week.

That’s just over two weeks from now.

Voters must be registered in order to elect party candidates at all levels, all the way from the presidential race right down to our contested regional races. If you vote, you’ll be part of deciding who will succeed retiring U.S. Rep Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon), who has represented Cooke County in Congress for the last quarter-century. Those are big shoes to fill and we encourage you to check out the candidates and decide who you think should fill them.

It’s important for all of us to take ownership in the civic life of our community. That starts by casting a vote, but you can’t do that if you aren’t registered.

If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible, here are the rules. You may register to vote if:

• You are a United States citizen;

• You are a resident of the county where you submit the application;

• You are at least 17 years and 10 months old, and you are 18 years of age on Election Day;

• You are not a convicted felon (you may be eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence, probation, and parole); and

• You have not been declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.

If you think you might already be registered to vote, here’s how to check. Visit https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do online, then enter your birth date and one of the following:

• Your Texas driver’s license number, if you provided it when you registered to vote;

• Your Voter Unique Identifier, which appears on your voter registration certificate; or

• Your first and last name and your county of residence.

If you aren’t registered and you wish to register to vote, you can get a copy of a voter registration form from the Cooke County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office, 112 S. Dixon St. in Gainesville, or download and print the form from www.votetexas.gov. Local libraries also have forms available.

Alternatively, if you have internet access, you can visit register2vote.org from a smartphone, computer or tablet to check your voter registration status and provide your information online to have a completed form mailed to you.

Once you have a completed form, don’t forget to sign it and turn it in to your local voter registrar’s office either in person or by mail.

Cooke County residents should deliver voter registration forms to the Cooke County Tax Assessor-Collector, 112 S. Dixon St., Gainesville, TX 76240. Grayson County residents should get theirs to Grayson County Voter Registrar, 115 W. Houston, Sherman, TX 75090.

Just make sure you complete your form and either get it in the mail with a postmark no later than June 15, or drop it off in person by that date at the appropriate office.

If you have any questions about registering to vote and you live in Cooke County, call Cooke County Voter Registration at 940-668-5500, option 8. Grayson County residents may call 903-893-8683.

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