A recent study from UT Austin ranked Texas 47th in voter turnout and 44th in voter registration. In 2014 (the last non-presidential primary election), only 2 million of the over 14 million registered voters showed up to vote in the primary election. Doing their civic duty, the number of voters in November was up to 5 million. Here’s the rub: if you wait until November to do your civic duty, you are more than late to the game.
In Texas, November elections are typically won during the primary in March. Our voting districts are pretty regular in political leanings; meaning, the primary elections are the battlegrounds. Almost. Every. Time. If you want your voice to be heard then you need to show up in March; otherwise, you are letting 2 million people (about 9% of the Voting Age Population) make the decision for you.
According to the 2018 Texas Civic Health Index, the number one reason given for not voting is “not liking the candidates or the issues.” Folks, there is only one way to change that. Get out and VOTE. We have all heard the saying that “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” You cannot change the outcome of elections if you fail to participate in them. I could go into all sorts of other reasons here: many have fought and sacrificed for the right to vote; many have been denied the right to vote in history; it’s painless; it’s not time-consuming, etc. But what it comes down to is this: Be someone who DOES more than SAYS.
You don’t have to be a party member to vote in the primary election; however, you do have to choose only one party in which to participate. During the general election in November, you may vote on one ballot and choose between anyone that is listed. If you live in Collin County, you will usually find both parties voting in the same location during both Early Voting and on Election Day. If you live in Denton County, during Early Voting you can vote anywhere in the county. On Election Day, however, you will need to look up your voting location depending on party and precinct and vote in that specific location. More information can be found at FriscoChamber.com
If you are uncertain how to vote, I would encourage you to check out the many forums and questionnaires to hear from the candidates themselves. The Frisco Chamber of Commerce held a forum for candidates in House District 106, Senate District 108, and Denton and Collin County Judge Seats. You can watch it on our Facebook page. Early Voting runs through Friday, March 2nd. Election Day is Tuesday, March 6th. (But really, do it during Early Voting—it’s just so much easier!)
And just for extra fun—-Municipal Elections will be held May 5th! But that’s a whole other story……