Don’t Waste Your Right to Vote

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 2/21/2020, 3:28 a.m.
American men have always had the right to vote. Even though some women were able to vote starting in 1869 ...

American men have always had the right to vote. Even though some women were able to vote starting in 1869 in a few states, females didn’t officially get the right to vote across the U.S. until 1919 with the passage of the 19th amendment. African Americans, who were once thought of as property and not people, wouldn’t get certain rights until the passage of the 14th and 15th amendments. African Americans were granted citizenship and equal civil and legal rights. The 15th amendment gave African American more rights with the 15th amendment. That piece of legislation prohibits the federal government and each state from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or servitude. However, some African Americans in Southern states lost their right to vote due to the Jim Crow laws. In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act. This legislation is considered to have ended the era of Jim Crow ending segregation.

The right to vote came to the later groups after many marches, speeches, protests, and dehumanizing and humiliating tests. Knowing this bit of insulting history behind this most sacred right how can anyone of today who living and breathing freely fix their lips to say "I don't want to vote." You do not have the right to remain silent. Our inalienable rights are being challenged daily and voting is the only power we have to stop it by putting the right people that express your thoughts in office. Not voting is not showing the other guy that you don't approve of him; it actually helps him when you are silent. Don’t use the transportation excuse for not voting because of there plenty of people and to the polls. Just ask. The "I am not registered" excuse won't work either because although registration for this current election done, registration for the November election is still open. So stop the excuses, the barriers to voting have been removed. Your voice is needed and wanted. Don't let the work of those of yesteryear be in vain. Stand up. Speak up. Go vote.

Bring Your ID

When you go vote make sure to bring your ID. Many have said requiring the showing of your government issue ID to vote is a form of voter suppression since so many brown people, elderly and the poor may have difficulty acquiring one. Barriers include lack of transportation to get one and the inability to pay for one. On the other side of this argument are those who say requiring the photo ID for verification of an individual prevents voter fraud.

A law passed in Texas requiring citizens to bring their ID in order to vote. Seven forms of governmental id are acceptable. They are

*Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

*Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS

• Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS

• Texas Handgun License issued by DPS

• United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph

• United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph

•United States Passport (book or card)

If you don’t have an ID, you may still vote, with a supporting form of ID and executing a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

Voting Locations

You now can vote at any polling location. Voters are no longer required to go to assigned voter locations and may vote at any location in the county. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. But some locations may require a few citizens to fill out a Statement of Residency form to prove they stay at an address.

The Ballot

When you go into the voting booth be prepared to be there a little. The ballot is lengthy. This is why you need to know your candidates ahead of time or else this process can be extremely overwhelming. An informed voter is the best kind. Research the candidates and their platforms to make an educated vote.

Some of the hottest races are…

Democratic Presidential Nominee

There are 17 names on the ballot, some of which have already dropped out of the race. The names are in alphabetical order. Know your candidate to make sure you select who you want. The top contenders are Pete Buttigieg-D, Tom Steyer-D, Michael R. Bloomberg-D, Elizabeth Warren-D, Joseph R. Biden-D, Andrew Yang-D, Bernie Sanders-D, Amy Klobuchar-D, and Donald J. Trump-R (incumbent).

United States Senator

The candidates are Mary Hegar-D, Royce West-D, D. R. Hunter-D, Michael Cooper-D, Adrian Ocegueda-D, Sema Hernandez-D, Annie Garcia-D, Chris Bell-D, Amanda K. Edwards-D, Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez-D, Victor Hugo Harris-D, and Jack Daniel Foster Jr.-D. The top Republican candidate is John Cornyn

United States Representative, District 2

The candidates are Travis Olsen-D, Sima Ladjevardian-D, Elisa Cardnell-D, and Dan Crenshaw-R (incumbent).

United States Representative, District 7

The candidate is Lizzie Fletcher-D, Laique Rehman-R, Jim Noteware-R, Wesley Hunt-R, Maria Espinoza-R, Cindy Siegel-R, and Kyle Preston-R.

United States Representative, District 8

The candidates are Elizabeth Hernandez-D, Laura Jones-D, Melissa Esparza-Mathis-R, Kirk Osborn-R, and Kevin Brady-R.

United States Representative, District 9

The candidates are Al Green-D (incumbent), Melissa Wilson-D, Julian A. Martinez-R, Jon Menefee-R, and Johnny Teague-R.

United States Representative, District 10

The candidates are Shannon Hutcheson-D, Mike Siegel-D, Pritesh Gandhi-D, and Michael McCaul-R.

United States Representative, District 18

The candidates are Jerry Ford Sr.-D, Donovan Boson-D, Marc Flores-D, Stevens Orozco-D, Michael Allen-D, Sheila Jackson Lee-D (incumbent), Bimal Patel-D, Robert M. Cadena-R, Wendell Champion-R, Nathan J. Milliron-R, T.C. Manning-R, Ava Reynero Pate-R, and Truly Heiskell-R.

United States Representative, District 22

The candidates are Derrick A. Reed-D, Camine Petrillo III-D, Sri Preston Kulkarni-D, and Nyanza Davis Moore-D. There are 15 Republicans on the ballot and the front-runners are Troy Nehls-R, Pierce Bush-R, and Kathaleen Wall-R.

United States Representative, District 29

The candidate is Sylvia Garcia-D (incumbent), Jaimy Z. Blanco-R, and Robert Schafranek-R.

United States Representative, District 36

The candidate is Rashad Lewis-D, Brian Babin-R, and RJ Boatman-R.

Railroad Commissioner

The candidates are Roberto R. Alonzo-D, Kelly Stone-D, Chrysta Castaneda-D, Mark Watson-D, Ryan Sitton-R, and James Wright-R.

Chief Justice, Supreme Court

The candidates are Jerry Zimmerer-D, Amy Clark Meachum-D, and Nathan Hecht-R.

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6

The candidates are Larry Praeger-D, Kathy Cheng-D, and Jane Bland-R.

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 7

The candidates are Brandy Voss-D, Staci Willims-D, and Jeff Boyd-R.

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8

The candidates are Gisela D. Triana-D, Peter Kelly-D, and Brett Busby-R.

State Senator, District 13

The candidates are Richar R. Andrews-D, Borris Miles-D (incumbent), and Melissa Morris-D.

State Senator, District 137

The candidate is Gene Wu-D.

State Senator, District 139

The candidates are Jarvis D. Johnson-D and Angeanette Thibodeaux-D.

State Senator, District 141

The candidates are Willie Roaches Franklyn-D and Senfronia Thompson-D.

State Senator, District 142

The candidates are Harold V. Dutton Jr.-D (incumbent), Jerry Davis-D, Richard Bonton-D, Natasha Ruiz-D, and Jason Rowe-R.

State Senator, District 143

The candidate is Ana Hernandez-D.

State Senator, District 145

The candidate is Christina Morales-D.

State Senator, District 146

The candidates are Ashton P. Woods-D and Shawn Nicole Thierry-D (incumbent).

State Senator, District 147

The candidates are Colin Ross-D, Aurelia Wagner-D and Garnet F. Coleman-D (incumbent).

State Board of Education, District 6 Trustee

Houston Style’s Education Writer Kimberly McLeod is on the ballot for the State Board of Education, District 6 Trustee. The Republican candidate is Will Hickman-R. Go Kim!

Democratic District Attorney

The candidates are Todd Overstreet-D, Audia Jones-D, Carvana Cloud-D, Kim Ogg-D (incumbent), Lori Deangelo, R, Mary Huffman, R, and Lloyd Wayne Oliver, R.

Harris County - County Attorney

The candidates are Vince Ryan-D (incumbent), Ben Rose-D, Christian Dashaun Menefee-D, and John Nation-R.

Harris County - Sheriff

The candidates are Ed Gonzalez-D (incumbent), Jerome Moore-D, Harry Zamora-D, Joe Danna-R, Paul Day-R, and Randy Rush-R.

Harris County - County Tax Assessor-Collector

The candidates are Ann Harris Bennett-D (incumbent), Jolanda "Jo" Jones-D, Jack Terence-D, and Chris Daniel-R.

Harris County - Harris County Department Of Education, At-Large Place 5

The candidates are Erica Davis-D, Paul Ovalle-D, and Fred Flickinger-R.

Harris County - Harris County Department Of Education, At-Large Place 7

The candidates are David W. Brown-D, Andrea Duhon-D, W.R. "Bill" Morris-D, Obes Nwabara-D, Kay Smith-R, and Don Sumners-R.

Harris County - County Commissioner Precinct 1

The candidates are Rodney Ellis-D (incumbent) and Maria T. (Terri) Jackson-D.

Harris County - County Commissioner Precinct 3

The candidates are Diana Martinez Alexander-D, Zaher Eisa-D, Erik "Beto" Hassan-D, Michael Moore-D, Morris Overstreet-D, Kristi Thibaut-D, Tom Ramsey-R, Susan Sample-R, and Brenda Stardig-R.

Harris County - County Constable Precinct 1

The candidates are Alan Rosen-D (incumbent), "Ced" Collier-D, Gilberto "Gil" Reyna-D, and Perry D. Wesley-D.

Harris County - County Constable Precinct 2

The candidates are Christopher "Chris" Diaz-D (incumbent), Jerry Garcia-D, George Goffney Jr.-D, Alberto "Bert" Rivera-D, and Daniel Vela-R.

Harris County - County Constable Precinct 3

The candidates are Sherman Eagleton-D (incumbent),Deborah Florus-D, Ken Jones-D, Michel (Poppy) Pappillion-D, John Jay "JP" Portillo-D, Eric Reed-D, and Andre Hines-R.

Harris County - County Constable Precinct 4

The candidates are Mark Herman-R (incumbent), Jeff McGowen-D, and Chris Bounds-R.

Harris County - County Constable Precinct 5

The candidates are Ted Heap-R (incumbent), Mark Alan Harrison-D, Mark Miller-D, and Randy Newman-D.

Harris County - County Constable Precinct 6

The candidates are Silvia Trevino-D (incumbent) and Joseph Guerra-D.

Harris County - County Constable Precinct 7

The candidate is May Walker-D (incumbent).

Harris County - County Constable Precinct 8

The candidate is Phil Sandlin-R (incumbent).

Harris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 1, Place 1

The candidate is Eric William Carter-D (incumbent) and Jerry Wayne Dugat-R.

Harris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 2, Place 1

The candidate is Jo Ann Delgado-D (incumbent).

Harris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 3, Place 1

The candidate is Joe Stephens-D (incumbent).

Harris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 4, Place 1

The candidate is Lincoln Goodwin-R (incumbent).

Harris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 5, Place 1

The candidates are Russ Ridgeway-R (incumbent), Eman Afshar-D, Israel Garcia,-D, Roel Garcia-D, Adrianna Higginbotham-R, and Mike Wolfe-R.

Harris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 6, Place 1

The candidates are Eva Loredo-D and Victor Trevino III-D.

Harris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 7, Place 1

The candidates are Jeremy L. Brown-D (incumbent), and Wanda Adams-D.

Harris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 8, Place 1

The candidate is Holly Williamson-R (incumbent).

Harris County - County Civil Court At Law No. 4

The candidate are Lesley Briones-D (incumbent), William "Bill" Mcleod-D, and Clyde Raymond Leuchtag-R.

Harris County - County Criminal Court At Law No. 12

The candidates are Genesis E. Draper-D (incumbent) and Linda Garcia-R.

Harris County - County Criminal Court At Law No. 16

The candidates are Darrell William Jordan Jr.-D (incumbent), Maria Casanova-D, and Bill Harmon-R.

This is just a sample of viable candidates running to represent you. Get to know them by learning about their platforms and plans for our city, state, and nation. Make an informed choice. Make sure to vote and take as many as you can to the polls.