For over 83 years, Houston Endowment has worked to advance equity of opportunity for the people of Greater Houston. We believe that in order to realize an equitable and vibrant city we should all participate in shaping our shared future. We are called upon to activate our voices and, for those who are eligible, our votes on the issues that impact our daily lives.
In a recent report, Take Action Houston,1 just 66 percent of eligible Harris County residents were registered to vote in 2016 – compared to 78 percent of eligible Texans (where Texas ranked 43rd among U.S. states). Voter turnout in Harris County was equally disappointing with 61 percent in the 2016 Presidential Election, only one percentage point ahead of Texas, where turnout ranked 47 out of 50 states. We can do better!
We believe a key effort to improving voter registration and participation is to help educate Houstonians about the voting process. That is why we have supported efforts like Harris County Clerk’s Office’s #VoteYourWay campaign, a multi-lingual, multi-media initiative meant to provide information about voting by mail and voting early and Houston in Action’s campaign commissioning local artists to create digital art for #HTownVotes and encourage voter participation, particularly among young people and residents of color.
We also know that barriers such as Texas’ comparatively early voter registration deadline and Harris County’s high rate of rejected voter registration applications serve to limit full participation from members of our community here in Houston. We are committed to ensuring that eligible Houstonians not only have the interest and the resources, but also the opportunity to vote.
Please remember to vote and encourage your neighbors, friends and family to do the same.
Early Voting is happening now through Friday, October 30th
Mail-in vote by election day November 3rd
Take Action Houston is a report from Houston in Action commissioned by Houston Endowment