The final day of early voting for the Texas Primary Runoff Elections is today, May 23! Due to the Memorial Day holiday, there will be no early voting on Monday, May 26. Members and friends, if you have not voted in the Primary Runoff Election already, please do so today or vote next Tuesday, May 27 (Election Day and your final opportunity to vote)!
Last week, we shared information with members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) that included six basic rules for voting. TRTA also offered some advice when selecting candidates that support the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) defined benefit plan and the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program. Please be sure to read the Choosing the Right Candidate section below!
Choosing the Right Candidate
- TRTA does NOT endorse candidates and makes every effort to work with all elected officials, but we do not want to leave you in the dark on these vital decisions.
- You may be receiving flyers in the mail and seeing commercials on television promoting candidates. You may see or hear nothing in these flyers and commercials that provides you with the insight you need to determine if a candidate supports TRS and the defined benefit plan.
Do your research!
- Review the websites of other education associations
- ATPE’s Teach the Vote (www.teachthevote.org) is a good resource
- Groups like Texas Parent PAC may be able to provide you with some insight on which candidates support public education and likewise the TRS defined benefit plan. Here is an updated list of endorsed candidates from Texas Parent PAC.
- If you live in one of the following Texas Senate or House Districts and are not sure who to vote for, read about the candidates ParentPAC supports and why, and determine for yourself if these candidates meet your own criteria for choosing an elected official: Texas Senate District 2; Texas House Districts 10, 16, 58, 66, 76, 102 and 132.
- A complete list of all statewide, Texas Senate and Texas House runoff elections that TRTA is following can be found here.
Talk to your fellow retirees!
- Ask which candidates they support and why! While you may not agree, it is important to gather this information to help you select your candidate of choice.
- Our Inside Line readers can also comment on our legislative updates now through the TRTA website. You will see a link at the end of this article that reads “You can view and comment on this Inside Line on our website by clicking here.” When you click on that link below, you will be taken to the TRTA website where you can share your opinions about candidates and read the opinions of other TRTA members.
Do not be wooed by slick marketing campaigns!
- Your fellow retirees and other education associations may be better resources for you to gather information about who supports TRS.
- You may receive “slate cards” and sample ballots in the mail or at your polling location: please be cautious when reviewing these materials, as they are often financially supported by groups that are pushing specific political agendas and may or may not contain factual information.
Your Power as a Voter
- We have seen and heard reports from all over the state that polling locations are virtually EMPTY! Voter turnout is very low.
- However, as the voter pool dwindles, your power as a voter grows!
- TRTA members have the ability to swing any primary runoff election in the state SIMPLY BY SHOWING UP AND CASTING A VOTE!
- Do not underestimate how important your vote is in this election. Your vote may very well be THE deciding factor in what candidate is chosen in a Primary Runoff Election.
Getting Friends, Family and Colleagues to Vote
- It’s just as important for your friends, family and colleagues to get out and vote as it is for you!
- Our power in the ballot box is expanded by educating those around us!
- We need to inspire others to action and spread the word that VOTING IS VITAL!
Where to Vote
- If you have not yet determined your polling location, please visit this link!
- Please bear in mind that if you voted in the Republican primary earlier this year, you may only vote in the Republican primary runoff (but not a Democratic runoff). Likewise, if you voted in the Democratic primary, you may only vote in the Democratic primary runoff.
- Remember, as long as you are a registered voter, you CAN vote in the Primary Runoff Election even if you did not vote at all in the Primary Election in March.
Our members have done a great job this election season doing research and asking the important questions. We appreciate all that you do to stay informed and share information with one another. As we transition out of this election cycle, TRTA will focus on policy discussions, particularly TRS-Care and the looming funding crisis. Everything that we have done throughout the primary election season has served as preparation for TRTA’s legislative agenda.
Please continue to read and share the Inside Line throughout the summer. We must engage as many members as possible as we educate the candidates in advance of the November election.
Thank you for being a member of TRTA! If you are not a member of TRTA and want more information about joining, contact us at 1.800.880.1650. Please share your questions or concerns with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.