Early Voting Begins Today, February 18!

Early voting for the Texas Primary Election begins today, Tuesday, February 18, 2020 and continues through Friday, February 28. Primary Election day is Tuesday, March 3.

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) encourages all of our members, friends, and supporters to get out and vote and to vote early! Take a friend, family member, or colleague along with you.

Are You Registered?

You must be registered in order to vote in Texas. You can check online to see if you are currently registered to vote.

Where to Vote

Registered and eligible voters may vote at any early voting location located in the county they live in. Early voting locations will be populated on votetexas.org two days before the first day of early voting. All voters have to do is plug in their information in order to find polling locations.

On Election Day, March 3, things work a little differently. You will want to see if the county you live in participates in the Countywide Polling Place Program (CWPP). If your county does participate in CWPP, you can vote at any polling place in the county. If your county does not participate in CWPP, you can only vote at the polling place assigned to you.

When to Vote

During early voting, polling place hours vary at each early voting location. On Election Day, however, all polling places across Texas are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What You Need to Vote

You need to have a form of identification when you go to cast your ballot. Here is a list of acceptable forms of photo identification:

  • 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 Handgun License issued by DPS
  • United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States Passport (book or card)

If you don’t have an acceptable form of photo identification, and cannot reasonably obtain one, you can bring one of the following in order to execute a “Reasonable Impediment Declaration:”

  • Copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter’s voter registration certificate
  • Copy of or original current utility bill
  • Copy of or original bank statement
  • Copy of or original government check
  • Copy of or original paycheck
  • Copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document)

Why Vote in the Primary Election?

Using our influence begins now, well ahead of the 87thLegislative Session that begins next January. This is the time when members of the Texas Legislature are most receptive to us! They want our vote and they need to know what our priorities are.

When I speak at retirement seminars, I ask non-members a simple question. “Do you think your retirement would be more secure if TRTA did not exist?” Most people offer a quick and resounding “NO!” You simply cannot leave your retirement security to chance with an ever–changing Legislature that is lobbied by many other organizations that want to change what you have earned.

Twenty years ago, the legislative landscape was far less crowded than it is today. Our association MUST increase its influence or we will hand the power over to those other groups that want TRS benefits reduced and do not care if you have retirement security. TRTA is not willing to leave that to chance!

What Can You Do to Ensure TRTA’s Success and Protect Your Own Retirement?

You may think, “I’m just one person. What can I do that will really make a difference on issues that impact more than 400,000 people?” See the list below and help TRTA and your fellow retirees today!

  • VOTE and do it early! Encourage your friends and family members to vote in the Primary Election too and let them know that very few registered Texas voters show up at the polls in March.
  • Ask a friend to join TRTA! Better yet, give a TRTA membership to a friend as a gift. Visit www.trta.org/join to learn more.
  • Attend a local unit meeting. With 250 units across the state, a local unit is meeting near you and they are inviting political candidates to speak. Visit our local unit sites to locate one near you.
  • Research and meet the candidates running in your state House or Senate district.
  • Find your candidates on the Texas Tribune 2020 online March Primary Ballot: www.trta.org/2020ballot/.
  • Help promote a culture of voting in all Texas schools and get valuable non–partisan voter information about education issues from Texas Educators Vote at www.texaseducatorsvote.com.
  • Compare information about candidates running for office and where they stand on public education issues from Teach the Vote at www.teachthevote.org.

Share TRTA’s Legislative Priorities

Pension Fund Contributions Secure adequate contributions from the Legislature and stakeholders to meet the pension trust fund obligations and funding increases set to be phased in pursuant to Senate Bill 12 as passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in order to maintain a path to actuarial soundness for the TRS pension fund.
Cost-of-Living Adjustment Secure legislation to provide a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for all TRS annuitants.
Pension Fund Fairness Secure equal contributions for equal benefits from all employer stakeholder contributors to the pension fund (currently higher education employers pay less contribution per employee than school districts).
TRS-Care Benefits Provide for benefit improvements and lower out-of-pocket costs for TRS-Care participants and allow a one-time re-enrollment opportunity for any participant who has left the program since 2018.
TRS-Care Funding Advocate for increased base funding and a long-term funding strategy for TRS-Care insurance indexed to the projected cost of health insurance over time (similar to the ERS insurance funding for state employees).
Rules on Work After Retirement Reform and simplify employment after retirement statutes and rules to allow retirees to return to work full-time without penalties and modify the structure for half-time retirees dealing with minor return-to-work violations to allow for more fairness when dealing with unexpected circumstances.
TRS Sunset Review Work collaboratively with TRS through the sunset process to improve administrative and customer service functions of the agency with emphasis on meeting the needs of the retiree members.
Federal Offsets Reform the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) to eliminate unfair laws and rules affecting public servants who qualify for Social Security benefits.

Related News