by Ashley Guidry, Communications Associate
Fellow Texans, September 20th is National Voter Registration Day!
That means those of us who haven’t registered are headed to their local county offices or hopping online to fill out a voter’s application. At Legacy, we are doing our part to place voter registrars at several of our clinics to register individuals’ in-person, and providing mail-in voter registration forms at our front desks.
Despite the millions of Americans living here, reports have been made that voter turnout rates have been quite dismal.
According to the Texas Tribune, 74.5% of qualified Americans didn’t vote in the 2020 presidential election. Unfortunately, Texas has one of the lowest turnout rates during election season. There are many roadblocks that decrease voter turnout rates. One of the reasons is that not all people who are qualified to vote are registered. 17.1 million adult Texans are registered, yet there are 21.7 million adults within the state, 18 years and older.
The first important step is to register to vote. To register, please use this link: https://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/
The second important step is to bring one form of ID listed below:
- Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
- Texas license to carry a handgun issued by DPS
- U.S. military identification card with your photograph
- U.S. citizenship certificate containing your photograph
- U.S. passport (book or card)
Another reason for the low turnout rate, is that many people feel the election process is daunting. There are three elections that happen throughout the years. Here’s a quick breakdown for you:
- Presidential Elections: also known as ‘federal elections’ takes place every four years, during which you vote for the:
- President: head of state and U.S. Government, their job is to carry out and enforce laws written by Congress
- Vice President: they preside over the Senate and in the case of unfortunate events, are a stand-in for the president.
- Congressional elections: also known as ‘midterm elections’ take place every two years. This election determines who represents our state in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. This election is currently taking place on November 8th, 2022.
- Governors: manage and fulfill laws within their own elected state
- Local Elections: take place any year and where you vote for the:
- Mayor: who acts as chief executive officer and oversees daily operations of your city
These descriptions are an oversimplification of how politics work, but it’s okay if you don’t know everything. Keeping up to date with local politics and debates is no easy task. As long as you have a general idea of how the system works, then you’re off to a good start in voting! Staying informed and educating yourself is important.
Voting is a way for our voices to be heard, to show our due diligence in that we want the best for ourselves and our people. For this upcoming election, we wish to see a new generation of voters who are aware and educated, exercising their 15th amendment. Make it a habit to vote and encourage others by taking the first step into the voting booth. It’s a small step, but one that is worth the journey. The deadline for voting registration is October 11th, 2022. Happy Voting!
If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule an appointment with us, please visit us online or call (832) 548-5000.