Happy Voter Registration Day

HAPPY VOTER REGISTRATION DAY BY MANJULA CARTER

T E X A R K A N A M O N T H LY

T E X A R K A N A M O N T H LY

L E T ’ S V O T E ! WHY VOTE?

T o say 2020 has been full of the unexpected would be an understatement. From COVID-19 and wildfires, to murder hornets and riots, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been dealing with a little extra stress this year. Add to that the fact that it’s an election year with all the political hullabaloo that accompanies it, and you’ve got yourself a year that will definitely be mentioned in history books. This “Groundhog Day” scenario we’ve been living has been a little disorienting, and one day has rolled right into the next with little fanfare. We’ve been longing for the day when things get back to “normal.” For a while it felt like this storm may never end, but it’s starting to look like there may be a break in the clouds and a little sun may be shining through. Schools and sports have made a comeback, Churches are meeting together in person, and the limited capacity tables of local restaurants are filling up. As we slowly start stepping back into our pre-pandemic routines, it feels like perhaps the end of the world may not be imminent after all. While remaining vigilant and careful, wearing our masks, and remembering to wash our hands, maybe it’s time to shift our focus away from all the things that seem to be falling apart around us and set it instead on things worth celebrating. For us at Texarkana Monthly, September is a month dedicated to doing just that. There’s always something to celebrate if you look hard enough, but if you can’t seem to think of anything, we’ll be sharing some of our ideas. It’s time to look on the bright side. We invite you to celebrate with us! CELEBRATE THE DAY!

SEPTEMBER 22

National Voter Registration Day— Fourth Tuesday in September

National Online Recovery Day

Autumnal Equinox— Changes Annually

American Business Women’s Day

SEPTEMBER 23 National Checkers/ Dogs in Politics Day

Today, most American citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote in federal and state elections, but it has not always been so. The original Constitution, which defined our system of voting, was not specific about WHO could vote. This resulted in certain population groups, including African Americans and women, being excluded from voting rights until the late 1800s and early 1900s. The 15th Amendment was ratified in 1870 which allowed African American men to vote, and the voting rights act of 1965 removed other voting limitations for this group. Women were allowed to vote in 1920 following the suffrage movement and ratification of the 19th amendment. Finally, in 1971, the American voting age was lowered from 21 to 18. With such a hard-fought history, the right to vote is a key American freedom that should never be taken lightly. WILL MY VOTE MAKE A DIFFERENCE? The answer is categorically YES! According to The Constitution, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives are elected by popular vote, but the president must be elected by the Electoral College. The Electoral College assigns a representative number of votes per state, usually based on the state’s population. For example, Texas has 38 electors and California 55. Most states have a ‘winner takes all’ system where the winner of the popular vote gets all the electoral votes in the state. Because of this system, when your individual vote joins enough others in a voting district or county, it can have a real impact on electoral results. In 2016, President Trump won a very close race against Hillary Clinton based on the number of the Electoral College votes of key swing states. In local and state elections, where turnouts are typically low, your individual vote carries even more weight. WHO VOTES? Studies on voter turnout demographics in the 2016 election show that race, age and education all played a signficant part in voter turnout: About 60% of white and African Americans voted compared to only 40% of Hispanic and other ethnicities. About 70% of people aged 60 or older showed up to vote, whereas only 40% of the 18-29 age group did. Finally, 70-80% of people with a college degree or higher voted, compared to only 50% of those with only a high school

diploma. Young people, minorities and those without a college degree have an opportunity to make their voices heard louder by showing up to vote in this coming election. HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE? In order to vote, a person must be a U.S. Citizen, a resident of the county where you apply, at least 17 years, 10 months old and 18 on Election Day, not a convicted felon, and not declared mentally incompetent. You can register to vote in Texas or check your voter status at www.votetexas.gov. You must be registered by 10/5/2020 to vote in the November election. Once you are registered you will receive a voter registration certificate in the mail within 30 days, which tells you the precinct in which you can vote. HOW AND WHERE DO I VOTE? There are three ways to vote… 1. Absentee by mail— This is only allowed if you are away from your county on Election day and during early voting, if you are sick or disabled, if you are 65 years of age or older on Election day, or if you are in jail but still eligible to vote. 2. In person at an early voting polling location— Required ID and voter registration rules apply. 3. In person at your designated polling location on Election day— Required ID and voter registration rules apply. If you are uncertain of your polling location, contact your county clerk. Also, contact your local elections office for information on changes to mail-in ballot requirements due to COVID-19 this year. 2020 has been a year filled with bizarre and unprecedented events that have left most of us wondering what the future may hold. Not the least of these uncertainties is who will be the president following the election. Murder hornets and pandemics aside, one thing you CAN control is your vote, so let’s not waste it!

Car Free Day

National Centenarian’s Day

National Great American Pot Pie Day

Elephant Appreciation Day

National Snack Stick Day

National Girls’ Night

Celebrate Bisexuality Day

National Ice Cream Cone Day

National Teal Talk Day

National White Chocolate Day

Innergize Day—Day after the Autumn Equinox

Dear Diary Day

Hobbit Day

ARKANSAS—Miller County Clerk’s Office TEXAS—Bowie County Clerk’s Office

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H A P P Y V O T E R R E G I S T R AT I O N D AY

C E L E B R AT E T H E D AY

T E X A R K A N A M O N T H LY

SEPTEMBER 24

SEPTEMBER 26

SEPTEMBER 27

National Cherries Jubilee Day

National Compliance Officer Day

National Chocolate Milk Day

National Punctuation Day

National Johnny Appleseed Day

National Crush a Can Day

Schwenkfelder Thanksgiving

National Pancake Day

National Gay Men’s HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day

National Situational Awareness Day

SEPTEMBER 25

National Scarf Day

Math Storytelling Day

National Public Lands Day—Usually Last Saturday in September

National Gold Star Mother’s Day—Last Sunday in September

National One-Hit Wonder Day

Save Your Photos Day—Last Saturday in September

SEPTEMBER 28

National Comic Book Day

National Good Neighbor Day (Used to be on 4th Sunday)

National Hunting and Fishing Day—Fourth Saturday in September

National Lobster Day

National Strawberry Cream Pie Day

National Family Health & Fitness Day USA—Last Saturday in September

National North Carolina Day

National Research Administrator Day

National Seat Check Saturday—Usually Fourth Saturday in September National Singles Day—Saturday of Singles Week

National Family Day—Fourth Monday in September

National BRAVE Day—Fourth Friday in September

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