Labor Day has come and gone and with its passing begins the unofficial start of the 2018 mid-term election season. Historically, Texas tends to have one of the lowest voter turnouts in the United States, and that is something the members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) hope to change! Let’s change history this year! Let’s start with our dedicated public education retirees and get out the vote.

Although retired educators tend to vote in high numbers in general elections, I believe we can reach a retiree voter turnout of 99 percent! Let’s also make the effort to ensure that the other 1 million members of the Teachers Retirement System of Texas (TRS)–who are not yet retired–reach the same achievement!

If we accomplish this dramatic turnout, our 1.5 million voting block can change history and be the winning factor in any election in Texas. What’s even better is that when Texas educators win, Texas students win too. That is a win/win that really matters!

Such a turnaround in voter turnout is not easy and is not free of personal hardship or time commitment.  It takes hard work, a positive attitude and a can-do spirit to smile and keep persuading when naysayers say “I don’t vote because my vote won’t make a difference.”

TRTA believes, however, that the effort is worth the work! Dedicating your life to educating the populace is all about the results that can only be achieved through hard work. For years, you taught your students to never give up and keep trying. Now, retirees must do the same to effect change and improve our benefits!

The General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 6. Though that date is important, here in Texas we have the privilege of voting early and voting by mail. Election day really starts on October 22–about nine weeks from now. As educators we know you want to be prepared when the first bell rings, so get ready and we will make sure you have everything you need to motivate the naysayers and make it happen.

Every Tuesday over the next nine weeks heading into the early voting period (October 22-November 2), the Inside Line will provide information about how and when to vote, and how to locate resources that help you choose candidates who will support Texas public education and TRTA issues. Mark your calendars for class every Tuesday and use your teaching skills to share your knowledge with others.

Make your plan to vote early during this election cycle! Then use that extra time to share your enthusiasm and your voice with every Texas educator you know and help motivate them to exercise their most important right in our democracy. Together, we can all change history!

Texas Educators Vote

TRTA wants to make voting easy, understandable and fun. However, it is also an imperative for all Texas educators to vote because, put simply, we can’t win in the Legislature unless we have the right team working for us inside the Capitol.

TRTA is part of a coalition of education and civic groups called Texas Educators Vote that is dedicated to one thing and one thing only–creating a culture of voting in Texas public schools. We will be highlighting the resources and activities this coalition uses to motivate educators and students to exercise their right to vote over the next nine weeks. Meanwhile, you can check them out by clicking here. Their site even has a countdown clock and a one-click way to get registered to vote!

The First Message

This week the message is simple: you can’t vote if you are not registered! Although most of our members are registered voters, it pays to verify your registration. If you have moved recently or know someone who has moved, it never hurts to verify voter registration in the new location.

You can find out if you are registered by clicking here. The deadline to register to vote in the November 6 General Election is October 9. Let’s change history this year and have 100 percent of all TRTA members registered to vote!

Register, Educate, Vote!

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s edition of the Inside Line when we will discuss voting by mail. If you are 65 or older, you can vote right from the comfort of your home just by following the steps we will provide next week.