Last week, the Texas Retired Teachers Association shared its “Good Voter Health” series. The series covered a variety of topics concerning election activity during the upcoming Texas primaries. As we head into the primary election season, it is important for our members to be informed and active.

Day 1: Are You Registered to Vote?

Day 2: The Importance of Primary Elections and Who Is Running for Office in Your Area

Day 3: I’ve Researched the Candidates. Is My Work as a Voter Done?

Day 4: Helping Others Get Involved in the Political Process

Day 5: Closely Watched Primary Races

Most political races in Texas are determined DURING THE PRIMARY ELECTION, not the November General Election! While it is important to vote in ALL elections, many voters do not make it to the polls for the Primary Election.

Last week, TRTA stressed the importance of scheduling a time to participate in early voting. Remember, because so few people vote in the primary election, EVERY VOTE COUNTS EXPONENTIALLY. Your vote WILL make a difference!

Please keep this in mind: this is NOT a marathon, it’s a sprint! The starting gun has sounded. We must act NOW. We have only until March 1 to make sure that we protect the interests of our members in the Texas Legislature.

Important highlights from last week include:

1) Be sure you, your family members, friends and fellow retirees are registered to vote! Check the Texas Secretary of State website to determine your voter registration status.

2) Determine who your candidates are! Check Ballotpedia for all open races:

3) Do this IMPORTANT TASK: Ask your candidates three vital questions about TRS:

  • 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?

4) Consider other ways you can get involved in the political process and support your candidate of choice. Call your candidate’s campaign office and see how you can help! If your candidate wins, they will absolutely remember your help when the Legislature convenes.

5) Share information with your fellow retirees about what you have learned from your candidates. Do they support sustaining the TRS defined benefit plan? Let TRTA know and let your friends know as well! If you have not connected with a candidate, CONNECT WITH YOUR FELLOW TRTA MEMBERS IN A LOCAL UNIT AND ASK THEM WHO THEY ARE VOTING FOR AND WHY! TRTA local unit information can be found here.

6) Above all, VOTE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION. Don’t wait until March 1 to vote. Schedule a day between February 16 and 26 to VOTE EARLY. 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 by clicking here.

Thank You!

Remember, if the district where you live is predominantly Republican, you may vote in the Republican Primary and still vote as a Democrat in November. Likewise, if you live in a predominantly Democratic district, you may vote in the Democratic Primary and still vote as a Republican in November. If you do not want your Voter Registration Card stamped with a party label, simply present your Texas Driver’s License or a valid government photo ID.

Please know that if you vote in a Primary Election for one party and a run-off election for that position occurs, you can vote only in the run-off of the SAME PARTY for which you voted in the Primary. However, you may vote for any candidate you wish in the General Election.

Thank you for being a member of TRTA! If you are not a member and are interested in joining, please contact our Membership Department at 1.800.880.1650.

Protecting your retirement benefits is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your participation makes all the difference! Be sure to stay tuned to our other digital mediums to stay informed on all the latest news and updates. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.