Blog

25 Feb
0

Use Your Influence and Vote in the Primary Election!

Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) have been getting involved in the political process this election season, ready to elect officials who will represent their interests and protect their health care program!

Have you voted already?  You can still vote early through February 28 and Primary Election day is March 4. We encourage you to vote early, but above all, to VOTE!

Very few voters make it out during the Primary, but this is when your vote counts the most! Most political races in Texas are determined DURING THE PRIMARY ELECTION, not the November General Election! Please make some time over the next few days to go to the polls!

How Many Voters Participate in the Primary Election?

Have a look at the historical statistics provided by the Secretary of State here.

In 2012, during the Primary Election, there were 13,065,425 registered voters. For the Republican primary, 1,449,477 people voted, a mere 11.09%. In the Democratic Primary, 590,164 people voted, only 4.52% of registered voters. Those numbers were even lower in the Primary Runoff Elections in July 2012, when 8.51% of voters voted in the Republican Runoff and 1.81% voted in the Democratic Runoff.

According to the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, only 2% of registered voters have voted in the March 2014 Primary Election so far.

This information tells us that VOTES MATTER IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION. Even a handful of votes can sway the results of a Primary Election. TRTA, with its nearly 80,000 members, has the ability to influence elections if all our members cast their votes!

Are you using your influence? Although getting out to vote is not always convenient, it is a vital part of our grassroots advocacy efforts! (Voting early, between now and February 28, may be easier for some members, because you do not have to vote in your precinct. You may vote at any location convenient for you within your county. Review early voting locations in your area here).

It is essential that we elect Senators and Representatives that support TRS-Care and the TRS pension fund. In our previous Voter Health Series articles, we discussed several contested and open seats in the Primary election. A large number of our elected officials will be NEW or have less than two years of experience by the time the next legislative session begins in January 2015. Please review these races and determine if you are impacted!

Even if you are not a constituent in one of the districts mentioned in our contested and open seat races, your vote still matters! So do the votes of your fellow retirees, friends, neighbors and family! It is likely that only about 10% of residents in your town will vote in this election cycle. The votes of even 10 to 100 more people can drastically alter the results of a race. The votes of 80,000 public education retirees WILL make a difference!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA! Remember, you are a valued member of our organization, and your vote in the Primary Election is also valuable! Use your power and vote! If you are not a member of TRTA and want more information about joining, contact us at 1.800.880.1650.

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24 Feb
0

Early Voting Continues This Week! Have You Voted Yet?

Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) have been getting involved in the political process this election season, ready to elect officials who will represent their interests and protect their health care program!

Have you voted already?  You can still vote early through February 28 and Primary Election day is March 4. We encourage you to vote early, but above all, to VOTE!

Very few voters make it out during the Primary, but this is when your vote counts the most! Most political races in Texas are determined DURING THE PRIMARY ELECTION, not the November General Election! Please make some time over the next few days to go to the polls!

Remember, when you vote early, you do NOT have to vote in your precinct. You may vote at any location convenient for you within your county. Review early voting locations in your area here.

It is essential that we elect Senators and Representatives that support TRS-Care and the TRS pension fund. In our previous Voter Health Series articles, we discussed several contested and open seats in the Primary election. A large number of our elected officials will be NEW or have less than two years of experience by the time the next legislative session begins in January 2015. This means YOUR Senator or Representative in 2015 may know very little about issues affecting retired school personnel in Texas!

Campaign Mailers

We have received feedback from some TRTA members about receiving campaign materials in the mail. These mailers can be confusing at times and create concern about who to vote for. TRTA advises its members to be cognizant of what organizations are sending the literature. You can use www.google.com to review those organizations online and find out more about what issues they do and do not support.

TRTA does not endorse candidates for political office, but we urge you not to make decisions about who will represent you in the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives based on one mailer. If you have received information in the mail that causes you concern, please feel free to email us at info@trta.org and tell us what organization sent the information.

We also advise you to contact other retirees and TRTA local unit officers to learn more. TRTA’s Local Unit Directory is the best way to find contact information for local unit officers: http://localunits.org/LocalUnitDirectory/. These TRTA leaders may be willing to share their information and insights with you.

We also mentioned the ATPE resource Teach the Vote in last week’s Inside Line. If you are looking for additional information about candidates and how they work with professional active educator groups, Teach the Vote is a good resource. Please feel free to use this resource as you do your research: http://teachthevote.org/races/2014.

Thank you for being a member of TRTA! Remember, you are a valued member of our organization, and your vote in the Primary Election is also valuable! Use your power and vote! If you are not a member of TRTA and want more information about joining, contact us at 1.800.880.1650.

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19 Feb
0

Primary Election: Early Voting Day 2

Yesterday, thousands of members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) read our Inside Line update about voting early for the 2014 Primary Election. We hope many of you were able to do just that or made a plan to vote soon!

Who Do I Vote For?
We received some comments from members about who they should be voting for. TRTA does not endorse candidates for political office, and we do not make recommendations as to which candidate may be the best choice to receive your vote.

Your best resource for reviewing candidates is each other! Many TRTA members are politically active and have reached out to candidates to ask them the following vital questions:

 

  • Do you support a defined benefit plan for all current and future TRS retirees?
  • Do you support providing reasonable, affordable healthcare for TRS retirees?
  • What will you do as my legislator to ensure that the TRS pension fund and TRS–Care health insurance program are preserved and improved?

Contact Local TRTA Officers
If you are a member of a TRTA local unit, contact your Local Unit President or Legislative Chairman to find out if they have made contact with the candidates in your area. If you are not a member of local unit, you can still contact local unit TRTA officers that may be willing to share their information and insights with you. TRTA’s Local Unit Directory is the best way to find contact information for local unit officers: http://localunits.org/LocalUnitDirectory/.

Contact Candidates’ Campaign Offices
Another great resource is the candidates’ campaign offices, where you can speak with a staff member. Find your candidates using the Texas Tribune Elections Bracket. Do a search by your zip code to view all candidates.

Most candidates are also using online resources to reach out to voters. You can use www.google.com to search a candidate’s name and find their website or Facebook page. You may even find a statement on their website about their goals and issues, which could help you decide which candidate you prefer.

Teach the Vote
TRTA believes in maintaining strong relationships with our friends in the active educator community. We have great working partnerships with all of the organizations representing school employees and school administrators. These groups work closely with TRTA on our legislative agenda to protect current and future retirees. As TRTA likes to say, all active school employees are pre-retirees!

One group TRTA has a strong relationship with is the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE). As you may know, ATPE manages a web site called Teach the Vote (www.teachthevote.org). If you are looking for additional information about candidates and how they work with professional active educator groups, Teach the Vote is a good resource. To review the 2014 race information, use this link: http://teachthevote.org/races/2014.

As a quick reminder, TRTA does not endorse candidates for political office. The information you find on Teach the Vote is solely the views of ATPE and its organization’s leadership. Feel free to visit their web site and know that we are happy to provide this additional information, and members can use it as they choose in this election process.

9 More Days to Vote Early!
Early voting continues through February 28. As we mentioned yesterday, very few voters make it out during the Primary, but this is when your vote counts the most! Most political races in Texas are determined DURING THE PRIMARY ELECTION, not the November General Election!

Please make time during the next 9 days to get to the polls. Remember, when you vote early, you do NOT have to vote in your precinct. You may vote at any location convenient for you within your county. Review early voting locations in your area here.

It is essential that we elect Senators and Representatives that support TRS-Care and the TRS pension fund. In our previous Voter Health Series articles, we discussed several contested and open seats in the Primary election. A large number of our elected officials will be NEW or have less than two years of experience by the time the next legislative session begins in January 2015. This means YOUR Senator or Representative in 2015 may know very little about issues affecting retired school personnel in Texas!

If you still need time to determine who you will vote for, make that time today! Contact your candidates’ offices and speak with a staff member about retirement issues or call upon retirees and ask them who they are voting for and why.

Thank you for being a member of TRTA! Remember, you are a valued member of our organization, and your vote in the Primary Election is also valuable! Use your power and vote! If you are not a member of TRTA and want more information about joining, contact us at 1.800.880.1650.

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