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Letting Our Voices Be Heard

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In my mind, nothing embodies the American spirit and the democracy that our country was built on better than our right to vote as American citizens. By casting a ballot, we enable our voices to be heard across all levels of government in ways that have a direct impact on the future of our state and nation. This right and privilege is something that I do not take lightly as a Texas citizen or as a public official elected to represent the good people of Denton County.

While many people may assume that their vote only matters when cast for federal offices, there are countless issues at the state and local government levels that have a daily impact on our lives.  For example, during the last legislative session, lawmakers in Austin worked to strengthen the state’s water plan and made a major investment in road infrastructure without raising taxes to ensure that Texas remains the economic envy of the world. 

Elected officials in Texas tackle these policy issues every day along with other critical issues to the state such as education, tax relief, and healthcare to name a few.  Exercising our right to vote gives us a unique chance to decide who the next leaders of our state will be and what type of society we want to leave behind for future generations to come.

Today, I want to remind you that we have an upcoming Primary Election where voters can vote in one of the two political party elections.  The candidates chosen will then represent their respective party in the General Election on November 4th.  This year’s Primary Election will be held on March 4th, with early voting beginning February 18th.  The Primary Runoff will take place May 27th.  To view the polling locations near where you live, you can go to www.votedenton.com/election-day-information/election-day-polling-locations/.

This year’s Primary Election has made history with a record high number of contested primaries. On the Republican ballot this year, you will find the office of U.S. Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Land Commissioner, Agriculture Commissioner, and many local seats up for election, with multiple candidates campaigning for each. For a complete list of candidates who have filed for public office, you can go to https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/candidate-filing/cf-report.aspx.

As a reminder, in accordance with state law that took effect in June, all voters voting in person who have not been granted a disability exemption will also have to show photo identification to cast their vote. The approved forms of photo identification a person can display in order to vote include a Texas drivers license, Texas personal identification card, Texas concealed handgun license, US passport, US military identification, or a US citizenship certificate.  If a person does not possess any of these forms of photo identification, they can visit their local DPS office to apply for a free election identification card.   For more information on Texas’ new photo id requirement, please visit www.txdps.state.tx.us/driverlicense/electionid.htm.

For the first time in modern history, Texans will elect a new Governor, Attorney General, Land Commissioner, Comptroller, Agriculture Commissioner and several down ballot offices all in the same year.  As I mentioned before, these new office holders will have a tremendous impact on the direction Texas takes.  Choosing this new crop of state and local leaders starts with our Primary Election process, and I highly encourage you to participate by casting your ballot this March. 

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives and I welcome your feedback on this and any other critical state issues.  If you would like to share a thought with me, please feel free to contact me at my Capitol office at 512.463.0688 or by e-mail at tan.parker@house.state.tx.us.

 

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