The following memo was sent via email to staff on February 17, 2016, from Kevin Cruser, TWU’s full-time legislative liaison.
Dear TWU Colleagues,
Early voting began this week in Texas for both the Republican and Democratic primaries and wraps up Friday, Feb. 26, prior to the official Texas Primary on Tuesday, March 1. While much attention has been paid to the presidential candidates over the past few months, and while those elections are important, it is imperative that we also pay close attention to the candidates further down the ballot during this election. Remember, most of the budget and policy decisions that affect TWU are made in Austin, not Washington, D.C. In fact, the policies that most affect every Texan (education, taxes, roads, water) are made by local officials.
In the 2014 general election, about 4.7 million Texans voted (about 25% of eligible voters). However, fewer than 2 million voters participated in either a Republican or Democrat primary (less than 10% of eligible voters).
Now here is the important part. Because of the way the election lines are drawn, almost every elected official in Texas (from your Congressman to your County Commissioner) was effectively elected in the primary, not the general election. That means less than 10% of the population is determining who represents you. It also means that voting in the primary is at least twice as important and twice as effective as voting in November.
For those of you in Denton, please be aware that State Representative Myra Crownover is not seeking re-election in 2016. The election to replace her is important because the person who wins this seat will be the voice of TWU in the Texas House of Representatives. There are three Republicans and two Democrats running for District 64. I encourage you to learn about each of these candidates in particular. (See video clip below.)
Remember, in Texas you have to be registered to vote and you must have a photo ID. If you are not sure if you have registered to vote, or if you have any questions about the voting process, everything you need to know can be found at http://www.votetexas.gov/. I have also included some helpful links regarding voting in Denton, Dallas and Harris counties. Finally, if you have questions about the candidates in the North Texas area The Dallas Morning News has a very detailed voter guide at: http://c3.thevoterguide.org/v/dallas16/build.do
Please take the time to find out who the candidates running for office are at the local and state levels (whether you are in Denton, Dallas, or Houston), and vote in your local primary. Do not wait until November!
Here are some helpful links:
- Denton County Election information: http://www.votedenton.com/upcoming-election-information/
- Denton Chamber of Commerce video (Candidate forum for District 64): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeHojEkS85_VtNIfTZOHOup4QPk5v0iOz
- Dallas County Election Information: http://www.dallascountyvotes.org/
- Harris County Election Information: http://www.harrisvotes.com/