Early voting for the Primary Runoff Elections continues today and through the end of the week! Last week, we shared information with members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) that included six basic rules for voting. If you did not read that article, please do so today! Above all, do not wait to get out and vote!

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. Today, we have even more information that may be helpful to you. 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.

Now more than ever, you may be receiving flyers in the mail and seeing commercials on television promoting candidates. The messages may be confusing or persuasive. 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! In the past we have shared the ATPE resource Teach the Vote with our members (www.teachthevote.org). Other groups like Texas Parent PAC may be able to provide you with some insight on which candidates support public education and likewise support the TRS defined benefit plan. You can also reach out to other education associations that you may be familiar with.

Just yesterday, Texas Parent PAC updated their list of endorsed candidates for several of the runoff elections.

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 about the candidates they support, and be sure to ask why! While you may not agree, it is important to gather this information to help you select your candidate of choice.

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 also receive “slate cards” and sample ballots in the mail or even 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.

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.

Your Power as a Voter

Very few voters vote in the Primary Election, and even fewer vote in the Primary Runoff Election.

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.

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 as it was in the classroom by educating those around us! We need to inspire others to action and spread the word that VOTING IS VITAL!

Please take an opportunity this week to ask a friend, family member, colleague or neighbor if he or she has voted or offer to give someone a ride to the polling location.

Where to Vote

If you have not yet determined your polling location, please visit this link! You can perform a search based on either your Texas driver’s license number, your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID) (which appears on your voter registration certificate) or your first and last name.

Voting Rules/Regulations

Early voting continues through May 23! Primary Runoff Election day is May 27.

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.

Other TRTA News: Social Security Issues

This week, TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee and Retirement Consultant Ronnie Jung are in Washington, D.C. meeting with Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas regarding the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Congressman Brady reached out to TRTA, explaining that the organization’s input is vital as he works to craft legislation that could modify the WEP.

For the first time in many years, it appears as if we may see movement on this issue that impacts millions of public educators and other public servants nationwide. This is an exciting development, and we will report more to our members about any progress that is being made.

Thank You and Stay Tuned!

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. TRTA will continue to provide updates about the Primary Runoff Elections as the week progresses. Please share your questions or concerns with us by sending an email to info@trta.org.