Monday, February 19, 2018

Editorial: Deadline is fast approaching to register to vote in March primary elections

Jan. 30, 2018 at 11:46 p.m.

We have heard a lot of grousing in the past year about our government — not to mention a lot of grousing about the grousing.

Of course discussion and even disagreement, especially that which is respectful and informed, is an important part of our system of government. For it to work to its full potential, candidates and voters must engage in discourse.

But that is just one step. If you want to help change the direction of your government, or keep it the same, voting is one of the best ways to achieve your goal.

Our state will have the nation's first statewide primary elections of the year March 6, and the deadline to register to vote is rapidly approaching. In fact, Monday is your final day to register or postmark an application for registration.

That's the first step, of course, then you actually have to vote when the time comes.

There are plenty of races to make it worth your while.

Both Democrats and Republicans have competitive races for U.S. Senate. Sen. Ted Cruz is facing four other Republicans in his quest for re-election. On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso is the leader among three candidates vying for a chance to unseat Cruz in November.

Also facing challengers is Louie Gohmert, who represents East Texas as the 1st District U.S. representative. In the Republican primary, the incumbent faces Roshin Rowjee, a political newcomer from Lufkin, and Anthony Culler, who has run previously for the seat. On the Democratic side is Brent Beal, a business professor at the University of Texas at Tyler, and Dr. Shirley McKellar, who previously has run against Gohmert.

There also is a Democratic primary race for governor, with nine candidates vying for a chance to face incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in November. And Republican Land Commissioner George P. Bush is facing three primary challengers including Jerry Patterson, who previously held the job.

How to register

To register, fill out an application in person at your home county voter registrar's office or pick up a copy at other locations including local libraries and most post offices and high schools. You can also print out the application online.

Completed applications must be postmarked before or on the deadline of Monday, Feb. 5.

Not sure if you're registered? Check with the voter registration office in your county, or visit and click the "register to vote" tab.

Early voting starts Feb. 20. We hope to see you at the polls.



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