Voting is a fundamental right of being an American, one that Texans will be able to partake in Nov. 7 in a constitutional amendment election. That is, if you knew it was happening.
Texas is notoriously a low-voting state, with the Huffington Post putting Texas as the fifth lowest voting state in the nation in 2016. During the last election, roughly 55 percent of the eligible population voted compared with the state of Minnesota, which had around 75 percent of its eligible population vote.
While more than half of the state voting doesn’t seem too bad, the real problem comes during off-year elections where there is no presidential election. During the 2014 midterm elections, the voting rate in Texas was around 35 percent. This drop is not uncommon, but there shouldn’t be a drop at all.
This election includes seven Texas constitutional amendments. Out of the seven amendments, two will help a lot of people who deserve it.
State of Texas Proposition No. 1 could offer a homestead tax exemption for partially disabled veterans or the surviving spouse if they receive a charitable donation for less than the market value of the homestead.
State of Texas Proposition No. 6 could offer a homestead tax exemption for surviving spouses of first responders who are are killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.
Both of these amendments will help two groups of people who have dedicated their lives to helping America and American citizens. However, these two amendments will only be passed if they are voted in.
As of Nov. 1, only 2,191 people locally had taken part in early voting. This number amounts to only 1.11 percent of the eligible population in Nueces County.
So before you go vote on Nov. 7, make sure you know what you’re voting for because while voting is important, knowing what you’re voting on is more important. Not knowing what you’re voting on is like picking classes at random. They could end up making your life a lot harder.
The League of Women Voters of Texas gives a good nonpartisan look at the amendments and gives pros and cons for all of the amendments. They also do candidate profiles during each election in Texas.
People love to talk and talk about what the founding fathers did and what they fought for. Voting is one of those things they fought for, as they had no real representation in the British Empire at the time, and yet many people treat voting as something that’s pointless.
America fought for independence because Americans were not being represented in their government at the time. By not voting, you are going against all that the founding fathers fought for. You are going against the foundations of the Constitution by not voting and you are going against what our troops are fighting for.
Instead of complaining on Facebook that the government doesn’t care about you or anyone else, there is only one real way to combat that, voting. While the constitutional amendment election will not vote in any people into government, future elections will. If you really believe that the government doesn’t care about you, then vote people into office who will.
Just go vote.