Secretary of State John Steen Launches Boots and Ballots Tour
AUSTIN—Texas Secretary of State John Steen today launched an initiative, The Boots and Ballots Tour, by the Elections Division in the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, to prepare and provide military voters with additional resources to register to vote and participate in local, state and federal elections. There are two Uniform Election dates in Texas this year; May 11, 2013 and November 5, 2013.
“No one does more to protect our freedom and right to vote than the men and women of our armed services,” said Secretary Steen. “So we must do everything we can to ensure they can participate in the very process they are serving and fighting to protect and defend.”
As the largest state in the continental United States, Texas is the home of the largest number of active duty military personnel and their families. The great state of Texas has a tried and true record of patriotic military service from its public officials and citizens.
Texas houses 25 military installations with nearly 195,000 members of the Armed Forces (active duty, reserves, and National Guard) and nearly 150,000 military dependents. In addition, there are more than 1.5 million veterans who reside in Texas including nearly 100,000 of the Greatest Generation from World War II.
Given Texas’s storied devotion to the military, it should come as no surprise that Texas is in the vanguard of protecting and championing military voters. U.S. Senator John Cornyn was the co-sponsor of the historic Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which created significant improvements for military voters in federal elections. Governor Rick Perry, a veteran himself, and the State Legislature passed legislation to make the MOVE Act applicable to state elections.
In addition to the efforts of the Governor and the State Legislature, Secretary of State Hope Andrade has made it a goal of her office to ensure that voting is made a simple as possible for our men and women in uniform. Texas maintains an easy to find and use website and “SmartTXVoter” mobile phone app, that make both information and the voting process highly accessible to Texas military voters.
Our men and women in uniform have long answered the call to defend our fundamental rights in all corners of the world. But in doing so, many lose the opportunity to exercise their right to vote. As George Washington said, “When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.”
Texas has answered the call to ensure our brave soldiers do not have to lay aside their right to vote. Texas is unwavering in their resolve to protect military voters and will continue to stand by them for years to come.