AUSTIN (KXAN) — For festivalgoers heading out to the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend, they’ll be greeted by the familiar sites and sounds Zilker Park has to offer. They’ll also come across QR codes and a team of volunteers assisting with voter registrations.
HeadCount is a national non-partisan organization that connects with prospective voters at live music and events. And their work isn’t new to Austin; they wrapped up a six-day partnership with Harry Styles during his Austin residency, displaying QR codes on jumbo screens for attendees to check their registration status.
More than 1,000 attendees used the QR codes to check their voter status or begin the registration process at Styles’ six Austin shows, HeadCount officials told KXAN.
This year, they’ve appeared at 41 events in an effort to connect with a key demographic: youth voters.
“It’s a scary process for a lot of people, and I think what we do as an organization is really, again, provide that friendly face to a historically kind of difficult process for folks to engage in sometimes,” said Kellen Edmondson, field director at HeadCount. “Our volunteers typically are fans of the events that they are going to or of the artists for the concerts that they’re going to, and so it’s a really great way for these folks to have that common ground initially, and then jump into a conversation about voting and voter registration deadlines.”
There are more than eight million 18-19 year olds who are newly eligible to vote in the 2022 midterms, according to HeadCount data shared with KXAN. These newly eligible voters make up 16% of the key ages 18-29 voter demographic this election cycle, per HeadCount data.
HeadCount’s volunteer team will be on the ground both weekends of ACL to assist people with voter registrations via their QR codes, as well as offering manual forms for people unable to scan the codes.
Texas’ voter registration deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 11. Festivalgoers who register this weekend will be eligible to vote in the November election, while those who register during Weekend 2 of ACL will be primed to vote next May.
Texas requires eligible voters register to vote in person or via mail. Voter registration applications can be filled out online, printed and signed before being sent via mail to your county’s voter registrar office. All applications sent via mail must be postmarked by Oct. 11 to be eligible this election cycle.
To vote in person in Texas, a resident must bring one of the following photo I.D.s:
- Texas Driver’s License
- Texas Election Identification Certificate
- Texas Personal Identification card
- Texas Handgun License
- U.S. Military identification card with person’s photo
- U.S. Citizenship Certificate with person’s photo
- U.S. Passport (book or card)
Those who are eligible to vote in Texas must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of the county they’re looking to vote in, 18 years old by Election Day, not a convicted felon and not declared “mentally incapacitated” by a court of law, according to the Texas Secretary of State.
“Texas is a really critical state that we’re always keeping an eye on, because it’s at the forefront of so many issues — including abortion access, including immigration, including the economy,” Edmondson said. “It’s just, really, an exciting time I think to be involved in voting rights in Texas, with all that’s going on.”