News & Press: Member Update

Primary Voting: March Matters

Wednesday, January 31, 2018  
Posted by: Michael Hancock
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In Texas, primary elections matter. The March 6 primaries are when voters from both parties will select their candidates to run in the November general election up and down the ballot. That means that the candidates that win the March primaries will drive the issues for the November election—and the state’s policy priorities for the next four years.

If you want Texas elected officials to care about your issues through 2022 – whether it’s jobs, education, taxes, transportation, health care, or anything else important to you – then you must vote in the Texas primary elections. Or you risk losing your voice to those who do.

And, actually, it’s fewer people than you might think. Fewer than two million registered voters showed up for the last midterm primary elections in Texas — and that’s in a state with 28 million people. Candidates only need a simple majority to win, so that means about 7% of all Texans determined our state’s current policy agenda for the other 93% of us.

If you haven’t voted in a primary election in Texas, the process is similar to November’s general election. You must be registered to vote and show proper identification. But when you arrive at the polling location, you simply tell the polling volunteer which party’s primary – Republican or Democrat – you plan to vote in this election, sign a pledge that you won’t vote in another party’s primary during this election year, and then vote for that party’s candidates and proposals.

That’s all there is to it. You don’t need to already be a member of any political party and you don’t need any political party “ID card” to vote in a primary election. Plus, you can still vote however you want in November.

But you do have to submit an application for registration by February 5. Check the Secretary of State's site here to see if you are registered and, if not, information about how to register. Another worthwhile site is www.valuevoting.com .

Early voting begins February 20.

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