By Hugo Mojica
Voting is a right that many have fought for and sacrificed everything to achieve. It’s a right that people continue to fight for and that millions of people throughout the world still do not enjoy. As Americans, we have the great privilege to live in a free society and voting is the right that makes us free.
Why Should I Vote?
Your vote holds your local and national leaders responsible for the decisions they make. Your vote sends a message about the issues you think are important. Your vote affirms our rights as free citizens to elect our government and take part in democracy. Without voting, there could be no democracy.
Maybe you know other family members, friends and co-workers who choose not to vote because they feel like what goes on in the government doesn’t affect them. The truth is, it does…in many ways. Elected officials make all sorts of decisions that can directly affect your life.
Vote because you care about your community. Vote because you want to make a difference. Vote because it’s the right thing to do!
Who can vote?
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
— 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution
In Harris County you may register if you:
- Are a resident of Harris County, and
- Are at least 17 years, 10 months of age (To vote, you must be 18), and
- Are a U.S. citizen, and
- Have not been declared totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction
- Are not finally convicted of a felony—or have satisfied the court’s requirements after a felony conviction or have received a pardon.
- (Source: Harris County Tax Office)
Getting out the youth vote is of great importance and we should be committed to providing the education and resources necessary to encourage young people to register and vote.
How do I register to vote?
Pick up a voter registration application at your library, any government office, or download one from Texas Secretary of State Website (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/). Mail your completed application to the Voter Registrar in your county. Upon acceptance, your voter registration will be effective 30 days from registration.
When are the next elections?
- Texas Primary Election Date – May 29, 2012
- Deadline to register to vote for the Texas Primary Election – April 30, 2012
- First day of early voting – May 14, 2012
- Last day of early voting – May 25, 2012
- Texas Primary Runoff Election Date – July 31, 2012
- Deadline to register to vote for the Texas Primary Runoff Election – July 2, 2012
- First day of early voting – July 23, 2012
- Last day of early voting – July 27, 2012
- National Election Date – November 6, 2012
- Deadline to register to vote for the National Election – October 9, 2012
- First day of early voting – October 22, 2012
- Last day of early voting – November 2, 2012