FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2010
It's that time again when you begin to see campaign ads on television or hear campaigners on the car radio asking for your support.
While many of you may switch the station or ignore the ad, election time is around the corner and the outcomes impact all of us, whether we choose to participate or not.
Unfortunately, complacency doesn't make our voices heard, especially in areas like the border region where we traditionally have low voter turnout.
As in 2006, this year we again have a gubernatorial election. Records for 2006 show that a total of 68,514, or 24.1 percent of registered voters went to the polls in Senate District 27 that encompasses Cameron, Kenedy, Kleberg, Willacy and part of Hidalgo counties. This means that only 16.3 percent of the voting age population of these counties actually voted.
In the 2008 Presidential election--general elections typically generate higher voter participation--turnout practically doubled from 2006 with 147,282 or 49.2 percent of registered voters casting their ballots in SD 27.
This means that 35 percent of the voting age population for these counties voted. (These numbers are derived from 2000 census population figures and do not reflect any increases.)
South Texas should aim for a higher voter turnout. We can do so much better. The more we fulfill our civic duty, the more likely we are to effect change and make a bigger difference in Austin and Washington, D.C.
Regardless of candidate or party preference, elected officials, especially statewide officeholders, know where the loudest call for their attention comes from. Why not from the people of South Texas?
Information on the issues is readily available. You can call campaign offices, read the newspapers, listen to television and radio news, get online to review the candidates' positions on their websites and talk to other people in the community to learn about a candidate. You're also able to attend or tune into discussion forums or debates.
I want to remind all registered voters to encourage family members, friends and neighbors to go to the polls and take someone with you both to vote and to register to vote.
When a parent or older sibling votes, it sets a good example for the younger generation, who will be our future voters and candidates.
Remember you can't vote if you're not registered. Voter registration applications can be obtained at county elections offices, some post offices and libraries, or online at: www.votexas.org.
Individuals may also check online to determine if they are registered to vote or update their registration information if they have moved.
To be eligible to vote in the Primary elections this March, remember to register by the February 1 deadline.
For more voting information, please visit: www.votexas.org or call the Secretary of State’s voter hotline at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683).
Just remember the Primary Election is March 2 and November 2 is Election Day.
No matter what party or candidate you support, please go vote! And remind others of the importance of their votes!
As always, if you have any input or questions regarding these or other matters, please do not hesitate to contact Doris Sanchez, my Communications Director, 512-463-0385.