Early voting for the Nov. 8 midterm election has begun in Texas. Public education is on the ballot across the state, and it is vital that public school educators and employees show up to the polls in full force. Who you vote for is secret, but whether you vote is a matter of public record.
Texas AFT’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) has endorsed candidates for statewide office and U.S. Congress, as well as for the Texas House and Senate and the State Board of Education
This list of endorsements are for some key races and is not exhaustive. Additionally, our union PAC does not endorse in every race. You can find our union’s PAC endorsements on our website, along with election information.
Voters Fight Against Suppression Efforts Across Texas
As the first ballots were cast this week for the 2022 midterm election, voters are feeling the effects of Senate Bill 1, the controversial voter suppression law passed last year. SB 1 rewrote much of state election law in a supposed attempt to combat voter fraud, despite there being no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Texas or any other state.
A recent study by the Brennan Center for Justice shows the real effect of the law: voters, especially voters of color, are having a harder time casting their ballot.
The study, based on data collected during the March primary election, found that voters of color are 47% more likely than white voters to have their mail-in ballots rejected.
A provision of SB 1 requires voters to include either their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number on their ballot, but whichever number they chose has to match the number they chose to put on their registration form. Many voters forget which number is one file and supply the wrong one.
Almost 25,000 ballots and 12,000 mail-in ballot applications were rejected in the March primary due to this provision, about a 12.4% rejection rate. While the rejection rate for ballots from white voters was less than 12%, the rejection rate was 19% for Asian American voters, 16.6% for Black voters, and 16.1% for Latino voters.
Texas AFT, along with several allied organizations, filed a lawsuit against the state on the grounds that SB 1 violates voters’ First and Fourth Amendment rights, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Texas AFT wants to hear from our members on whether they have experienced obstacles to or difficulty with voting in recent elections. Please let us know if you have through our short online form.
While Texas AFT fights back against voter suppression in court, the best way you can fight back against disenfranchisement is to vote. Find more information about your rights and how to vote on our elections page.