On this primary election day, exercise that precious right

03/03/2014 5:16 PM

03/03/2014 5:17 PM

During the 11 days of early voting for the Republican and Democratic primaries, a total of 589,628 people cast ballots in the state’s 15 largest counties.

That total might seem impressive, but it represents only 5.8 percent of the 8.67 million registered voters in Texas, meaning turnout for Tuesday’s party primary elections is not likely to set any records.

In Tarrant County, 52,719 Republicans and 22,621 Democrats have voted.

Rather than be discouraged by those numbers, voters should be even more determined to have their voices heard in helping to choose the nominees for their party for the general election in November.

This is one of the most cherished rights in our democracy, and it is one that should not be disregarded.

All qualified voters should be encouraged to go to the polls today.

Remember that a 2011 law requires voters to present a photo ID, specifically one of seven acceptable documents: a Texas driver’s license, Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by the Department of Public Safety, Texas personal ID issued by DPS, Texas concealed handgun license, U.S. military ID card, a U.S. passport or a U.S citizenship certificate or naturalization certificate with a photograph.

The candidates have made their pitches to voters. Now, it is up to those voters to decide which of the hopefuls is best for a long list of statewide and county offices.

Franklin Roosevelt said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

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