COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - The Texas Civil Rights Project reports two-thirds of public high schools in Texas have not offered students the chance to register to vote since the 2016 election. That's a violation of state law.
The same report suggests there are over 180,000 students in Texas who are eligible to vote, but haven't heard as much in school.
"If they don't receive it here, they may not know where to go get it," said Blayne Davis, Superintendent of Mumford ISD.
Davis said they give their students voter registration cards twice a year. He says it's one of the first big decisions the students make as adults.
"They're about to be of age to make decisions that impact the state, the country, and the world,” Davis continued. “We think it's part of our duty as educators to give them that information, put it in their hands, tell them what to do with it, and get them started in that process."
Texas state law says voter registration cards should be requested by schools. From there, they are often distributed in government classes. Teachers like A&M Consolidated's Bobbi Rodriguez said learning about voting there makes the process less intimidating.
"Anytime a student has a birthday, we sing 'happy registration day' and they get to fill out their form on that day if they want to," Rodriguez said.
Students can submit their forms through the school or do it themselves. Rodriguez says it's all part of getting more young people to vote
"It will encourage them and give them a foundation do that they can be active citizens the rest of their lives and hopefully improve our government in the process,” Rodriguez said.
The report says Bryan ISD, among other local districts, has not requested voter registration forms since the 2016 election, but Bryan ISD spokesman, Matthew LeBlanc tells KBTX they have plenty of forms available for students. Bryan High School Principal Lane Buban also stressed that the high school holds voter registration drives each year.
The study also mentions other schools in our area that haven't requested forms from the state, but several districts have indicated that information is not completely correct. According to the study, Hearne, Snook, Iola and Navasota haven't asked for forms since 2016. Snook superintendent Brenda Krchnak said, however, that the district coordinates each year with the state to make sure forms are available to their students.