It is no secret that Bexar County and Texas have very low voter participation rates. Now, Bexar County Commissioners have voted to find out why more people don't vote--my asking them, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Called the Bexar County Elections and Voter Engagement Advisory Committee, Commissioner Justin Rodriguez says the committee will seek input from people who's main language is not English, low income people without transportation to the polls, felons who have completed their sentences, and other people who are eligible to vote, but don't, to determine what the county can do to get them to the polls.
“Bexar County residents deserve proactive, common-sense solutions to the voting process that supports citizens in exercising their democratic rights,” stated Commissioner Rodriguez. “Approval of the resolution of support of Democracy From The Ground Up reforms and the creation of the Elections and Voter Engagement Advisory Committee signals Bexar County’s leadership and commitment to delivering a modern, voter-centric election system that conducts accurate, secure, and accessible elections. It also underscores the power local governments have to proactively protect voting rights and promote civic participation.”
Leo Castillo, who is the with 'Democracy from the Bottom Up Project,' told Commissioners that with some Bexar County elections counting less than 10% turnout, it is clear that this committee's work is needed.
"Formerly incarcerated persons, disabled persons, students, non English speakers, and more," he said are among the people who's opinions will be sought out by the committee.
Isabella Bueno, a student at UTSA, says the committee will also work on attitudes that keep people away from the polls.
"I grew up with a mother who was tought that it is not her business to have an opinion," she said. "I am still trying to pull her out of that apoliticalness."
On the insistence of Kevin Wolff, who is the only Republican on Commissioners Court, the resolution agreed that the committee will be non partisan, with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats.
Applications to serve on the committee are currently being accepted at the Commissioner's Court's web site, and will be taken until all the positions are filled.