Primary elections are underway in Texas and a North Texas group is trying to help ensure every vote is counted.
Millie Domenech, co-founder of the group Texans Taking Action, led a group of volunteers Saturday as they canvassed a Dallas neighborhood and knocked on doors. The group, which started its work in early 2022, is a grassroots organization focused on voter outreach in areas with historically lower voter turnout.
“A lot of times, these neighborhoods…Black and Latino neighborhoods get ignored. A lot of times, people who live in apartment complexes, students get ignored because they are not regular voters,” Domenech said.
The group worked in Dallas’ Owenwood neighborhood on Saturday. Their goal was to remind people that early voting for the March 1 primary has started and to guide people on where to vote.
“Owenwood is predominately Latino community. They have a neighborhood association. They’re very involved, but the voter turnout is low,” Domenech said.
Volunteers also handed out cards to people with information on how to vote in Dallas County, along with contact information for the Law Offices of Houston M. Smith. Based in Terrell, the law firm has partnered with the group to offer free Lyft rides to voters in need of rides to and from polling places.
“You hear about the second amendment, certain amendments, the first amendment…but most importantly, the 15th amendment. It is guaranteed through our Constitution that we have the right to vote,” attorney Houston Smith said Saturday.
Smith said his firm’s offer applies to voters across Dallas-Fort Worth, and they will do their best to accommodate what people need. Some limitations may apply, based on their demand in their first year of offering the assistance.
“Our focus is if you were not able to drop your ballot in the mail…we want to come and pick you up. We want to do what we can,” he said. “I think as attorneys, this is one of our most important aspects and that is educating and assisting our community on our constitutional rights.”
IMPORTANT PRIMARY ELECTION DATES
- Jan. 31 — Last day to register to vote in March 1 primary
- Feb. 14 — Early voting begins for the primary.
- Feb. 18 — The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the primary (request received, not postmarked).
- Feb. 25 — Early voting ends for the primary.
- March 1 — Election Day. Mail-in ballots that are not postmarked must be received by 7 p.m.
- March 3 — Mail-in ballots must be received by 5 p.m. if the envelope is postmarked by 7 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day.
- April 25 — Last day to register to vote in Primary runoffs.
- May 13 — The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the primary runoff (request received, not postmarked).
- May 16 — Early voting begins for the primary runoff.
- May 20 — Early voting ends for the primary runoff.
- May 24 — Primary runoffs. Mail-in ballots that are not postmarked must be received by 7 p.m.
- May 25 — Mail-in ballots must be received by 5 p.m. if the envelope is postmarked by 7 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day.