By Joe Grist
Blog Content Contributor
Depending on your stance, the 2016 presidential election was either a massive success or a devastating loss. What followed was a year of unprecedented victory for some and one full of fear, anxiety, uncertainty and change for others. To say that tensions are high is an understatement.
Even though things feel more divisive than ever, there is one issue everyone seems to agree on. The power of an individual’s vote has come into question. From the get-go, voter manipulation has been claimed by both sides. The pre-election Democratic National Committee (DNC) fiasco and the developing Russia investigation are both testaments to the fact that major U.S. elections have been under attack, but we have to remember, our vote still counts.
Just look at Roy Moore’s narrow loss to Doug Jones in Alabama’s special election for the Senate seat. To many, it seemed as though Roy Moore was going to run off with the election, even amid his sexual misconduct controversy. With backing from a large part of the Grand Old Party (GOP) and even an endorsement tweet from Donald Trump, it felt as if Roy Moore’s victory was all but guaranteed. Yet, on Dec. 12, it came down to the last moment. Doug Jones pulled the rug out from under Roy Moore’s feet, making him the first democratic senator to represent Alabama in the last twenty-five years. After Alabama certified Jones’ win for the Senate seat, it became clear that the individual vote still matters.
So, what next? Well, this year is when mid-term elections take place across multiple legislative bodies and positions in office. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives, 33 of 100 seats in the United States Senate through regular elections–one through a special election–, 39 state and territorial governorships and numerous local elections are up for grabs. Among these are seats for Texas governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and multiple other positions for Hays County.
Don’t know how to register, where to register or when deadlines are? Not to worry, we’ve got your back. KTSW’s own News Director Aaron Derton is also a Deputy Voter Registrar for Hays County and will be helping students register to vote on the quad from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m on Jan. 30. You also can pick up voter registration applications at the Hays county government office, public libraries, post offices, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Human Services. You can even request an application via phone at (512) 393-7310 or online.
As far as dates go, the last day to register to vote for the Primary Election is Feb. 5, the first day of early voting takes place on Feb. 20 and the last day to apply for ballot-by-mail is Feb. 23. Texas’ primary election takes place on March 6, and Congressional elections for the House and Senate take place on Nov. 6 of this year. If you still have questions or seek additional information you can find other important dates for Texas’ elections here, and frequently asked questions that relate to Hays county specifically, here. Aaron Derton has also been gracious enough to make himself available for inquiries at email@example.com.
So there you go. With this information at hand you have every tool and piece of information you could need. So, go out there, speak your mind and pick someone that represents you!
Featured image by Joe Grist.