Election Day is only two weeks away; early voting has already started!
OK, maybe hearing those words doesn’t generate the same interest and excitement they did a year ago, but every election day is important, and architects can play an even larger role in 2017—if you just vote.
What’s even on the ballot that architects care about? Statewide, there are seven constitutional amendments up for an up-or-down vote; there are probably also elections for local office and bond proposals to be decided. (For the specific ballot wording of the seven proposed constitutional amendments, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Election Division site (votetexas.gov, click on “Ballot Language”); for an analysis of arguments, both pro and con, on each of these seven items, the League of Women Voters of Texas (LWVTexas.org) or your local NPR station are two reliably impartial, non-partisan sites where such analyses can be found. In short, two deal with ad valorem taxation for disabled or deceased first responders or veterans or their spouses; two deal with raffles; one would impact home equity lending; while the last two would change the terms of service for gubernatorial appointments and require that the Attorney General be provided judicial notice of suits alleging constitutional violations by the state.
Early voting is October 23 through November 3; election day is Tuesday, November 7. Historically, balloting during “off” years (non-state/national candidate elections) runs from a low of five percent to a recent high of 17 percent; for the sake of argument, let’s just say that the average was ten percent of registered voters over the past decade. Contrast that with about 40 percent in non-presidential election years, and 60 percent for presidential elections. In other words, those who vote in odd-numbered year elections have 400-600 percent greater impact than they have in elections held during even years. To have that greater impact, however, ARCHITECTS MUST VOTE—YOU MUST VOTE!
With more local elections and bond proposals being decided in November elections held in off years like 2017, you can help shape local issues—including the availability of architectural jobs—more than ever before—for the better. What is your profession worth to you? Isn’t your community worth your vote, and the votes of your peers and colleagues? Don’t let someone else take your voice—or your profession.