It has just been merely a little over four weeks since our primary runoff, therefore, it is easy to assume that our civic duty as voters in Texas has concluded for the near future.
Indeed, in a normal election year Texas experiences more than a six month gap between the primary runoff elections and the November general. But this has certainly not been a normal election year.
As many of you have heard me explain before, Texas’ election calendar was pushed back and then compressed due to lawsuits filed against state lawmakers’ attempts to redraw our congressional and legislative districts. While the heart of the maps that lawmakers passed last year were upheld in the most recent court ruling, Texas did have to alter its primary and primary runoff election dates to the point that this year’s gap is just a little over three months until the November general.
That’s right, even though we just went to the polls to conclude our primary process, it is time to start planning for your next trip to the voting booth. No doubt many of you are already aware of the pending November general election due to the amount of attention circling our presidential race. Likewise, it is easy to assume that many Texans are under the impression that their vote carries little significance since virtually every information outlet has already assured that Mitt Romney will carry the Lone Star State. This thought process could not be more wrong.
There are many races on the ballot for this November general election besides the office of the presidency, some of which are expected to be closer than the Romney/Obama contest. Also on the ballot are several statewide offices to important judicial positions and Texas’ chief oil and gas regulatory agency. Depending on what part of Denton County you call home, there are also several local elections carrying significant importance that you will be called to cast your vote for. In these races, indeed for all the contests on your ballot, your vote is very important.
I am proud that Denton County has historically enjoyed tremendous voter turnout. During the last presidential election, we turned out over 70% of our voters while the statewide average fell below 60%. I want to see our turnout stay strong so that our county’s voice is loud and clear this November. That is why I want to make sure you are aware of the following important election dates and deadlines:
Oct. 9th – The last day for a person to register to vote
Oct. 22nd – The first day of early voting
Oct. 30th – The last day to apply for a ballot by mail
Nov. 2nd – Last day of early voting
Nov. 6th – Election Day
Whether you are a frequent or first time voter, please keep these important dates in mind. Choosing our leaders is a cherished right and fundamental freedom that has made our nation special – a place for a true elected democracy. As you know, throughout American’s rich history, men and women have sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy this constitutional right. So please remember to join me this November in exercising this privilege bestowed upon us and let your voice be heard.
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 [email protected]