Ensuring Your Vote Counts: Understanding Voting Rights in Tarrant County, TX

As the 2020 US Presidential Election approaches, many Americans are wondering about their voting rights and how to ensure their vote is counted. This is especially true for those living in Tarrant County, TX, where there have been recent changes to voting laws and procedures.

The Importance of Voting Rights

Voting is a fundamental right in the United States, and it is essential for a healthy democracy. It allows citizens to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives and communities. However, throughout history, there have been attempts to suppress certain groups from exercising their right to vote. In Tarrant County, TX, there have been ongoing debates and legal battles over voting rights.

In 2018, a federal judge ruled that the county's redistricting plan discriminated against minority voters. This decision was later overturned by the Supreme Court, but it sparked conversations about the importance of protecting voting rights in the county.

The Voting Process in Tarrant County

Before we dive into tracking absentee ballots in Tarrant County, let's first understand the voting process. In Texas, voters must be registered at least 30 days before an election to be eligible to vote. Once registered, voters can cast their ballot in person on Election Day or during early voting. For those who are unable to vote in person, absentee ballots are available.

These ballots can be requested by mail or in person and must be received by the county clerk's office by 7 pm on Election Day.

Tracking Your Absentee Ballot

If you have requested an absentee ballot in Tarrant County, you may be wondering if you can track its status. The answer is yes! The county offers a tool called "Vote by Mail Tracker" on their website, which allows voters to track their absentee ballot. To use this tool, you will need to enter your name, date of birth, and zip code. Once submitted, you will be able to see the status of your ballot, including when it was mailed, received, and counted. This is a great way to ensure that your vote has been received and counted.

Challenges to Voting Rights in Tarrant County

While the ability to track absentee ballots is a step in the right direction, there are still challenges to voting rights in Tarrant County.

One of the most significant issues is the strict voter ID laws in Texas. In 2011, Texas passed a law requiring voters to present a government-issued photo ID before casting their ballot. This law has been met with criticism as it disproportionately affects minority and low-income voters who may not have access to these types of IDs. In 2014, a federal judge ruled that the law was discriminatory, but it was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

Protecting Your Voting Rights

Despite these challenges, there are steps you can take to protect your voting rights in Tarrant County. First and foremost, make sure you are registered to vote and have the necessary identification.

If you encounter any issues at the polls, you can call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE for assistance. You can also stay informed about changes to voting laws and procedures in Tarrant County by following local news outlets and staying engaged in your community. By being an informed and active citizen, you can help protect voting rights for all.

In Conclusion

Voting is a fundamental right that should be protected for all citizens. In Tarrant County, TX, there have been ongoing debates and legal battles over voting rights, but there are steps you can take to ensure your vote is counted. By understanding the voting process, tracking your absentee ballot, and staying informed, you can help protect your voting rights and make your voice heard in the upcoming election.