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Copperas Cove teen ineligible to run for city council


Cove Leader-Press


The name Tayler Stokes, a senior at Copperas Cove High School, will not be appearing on the November election ballot for the City of Copperas Cove.

Stokes, who turned 18 years old on Aug. 15, filed to run for Copperas Cove city council Place 6 on Aug. 7. He also submitted his voter registration on Aug. 5.

However, he has been deemed ineligible to run for office, the City of Copperas Cove announced on Tuesday.

“The official voters list, a public record received from the Coryell County Registrar's Office, conclusively established that Mr. Stokes was not registered to vote by Monday, August 21st at 5 p.m., as required by Texas Law.  As such, he was determined to be ineligible to be a candidate for City Council for the November 7th General Election and his name will not be placed on the ballot.”

The office of Justin Carothers, Coryell County Voter Registrar, maintains the voting records and processes voter registrations for all voters within the county.

Carothers explained why Stokes was ineligible, although Stokes did submit his voter registration on Aug. 5.

“Voter registration becomes effective 30 days after the registration date. Mr. Stokes is an eligible voter in this county effective 09-05-2023. The Election Code requires candidates to be eligible voters by the filing deadline, which was 08-21-2023,” said Carothers.

Although he has just turned 18, the election code says that voter registration “becomes effective on the 30th day after the date the application is submitted to the registrar or on the date the applicant becomes 18 years of age, whichever is later.”

To be eligible, Stokes would have had to submit his voter registration by July 21 so his voting status would be effective Aug. 21.

During every election, there is a deadline to register to vote – 30 days prior to election day. Then, 30 days later on election day, registered voters become eligible to vote.

Stokes posted on his social media political page about the development.

“Texas laws are extensive and we thought we had met all criteria, but as it turns out based on my birthdate and registration day, I fall into this little known area of eligibility where the dates do not line up for me to run at this time. There was a short window of opportunity and eligibility for my earlier registration but unfortunately it has passed.

“Due to my age there was a great deal of unexpected media interest when I first applied by local news organizations and my run received a fair amount of attention, in fact one organization stated as far as they researched I was the youngest in history to run for the City of Copperas Cove. While I typically don’t gravitate toward the spotlight, I hope at least to some extent my run inspired the youth in our city to take more of an interest in leadership and the impact of their vote.”

Place 6 incumbent Vonya Hart is now the lone candidate and will have the opportunity to serve a second term in office.

For Place 7, incumbent Jack Smith and Latisha Walton will be on the ballot in November.

Electing filing wrapped up on Monday, August 21, at 5 p.m.


Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207