Halloween may be one of the scariest holidays of the year but one of the scariest facts about the state of Texas is that we are dead last when it comes to voter turnout. That means that the percentage of people eligible to vote versus the number of people who vote is lower than every other state.

When you don’t turn out to vote you don’t get candidates that represent our interests. Elections aren’t only every four years when we decide on a President. They actually take place every year and multiple times a year. On November 6 you will have an opportunity to choose the county government, statewide leadership and potentially a new U. S. Senator. But it won’t happen if you don’t vote. Here is the information you need to know to queer the vote.

Early Voting

Early voting begins on October 22 and continues through November 2. If you are registered to vote you can go to any open polling location.This is a great option for people with tricky schedules and families. There will be 46 locations throughout the county and 10 inside the loop. You can find the location nearest to home or work here.

Election Day on November 6

If you wait for Election Day you will need to vote at the polling station closest to your home. This is usually a community center or elementary school. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. but if you’re able to get in line at the polling station by 7 p.m. you will be allowed to wait in line until you vote. 

For information on which races and referendums are on the ballot you can use a neutral and dependable resource like the Voter’s Guide provided by the League of Women Voters. You can find the free guide at www.lwvhouston.org. You can also find information on your specific ballot using the free service at www.Vote411.org.

For information on how the candidates are on issues relating to the LGBTQ community you can find a lot of resources in Houston like the GLBT Political Caucus, the oldest political organization in the south catering to the community. They issue recommendations based on their detailed screening process of every candidate and issue being voted on. You can find them at www.thecaucus.org.

Regardless of your partisan leanings or your opinions on city referendums, make sure you take the time to cast your ballot. The law requires employers to give you time to vote, but if you feel pressed for time try to make a date in advance and do it on your day off. It usually only takes a few minutes. The country depends on it.