South Asian Americans Could Make Major Impact on Election This Year
According to the US Census Bureau, Asian Americans are now the fastest growing racial group in the United States. This year, several major studies and polls of the Asian American community showed that Asian American voters can make the difference in a number of elections at the local, state, and federal level. Unique among all groups, Asian Americans are also the only group that is more enthusiastic about voting this year than in 2008. Record voter turnout is projected not only for the election as a whole, but among Asian Americans in particular.
In Austin, voters will be making important choices for county and state offices such as a new Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector, the very important 3rd Court of Appeals, and the Austin Independent School District and Austin Community College boards. Additionally, voters will decide whether to approve funding for a medical school at UT Austin, seven city bonds for transportation, affordable housing, libraries, and other projects, and perhaps most importantly, eleven major proposed changes to the structure of Austin’s city government and elections.
With so much at stake this November and so many voters participating in major decisions that will potentially transform the city and impact the Austin region for years to come, it is critical for the South Asian community to make their voices heard. Unfortunately, many South Asians fail to vote because they do not understand the process or encounter problems when trying to vote. Don’t let other people make your choices for you – get educated about how to vote using the information below and take charge of your government!
Q: Do I need a photo ID to vote in Texas in 2012?
A: No. The Texas mandatory Photo ID law was struck down by federal courts.
Q: What do I need in order to vote?
A: Bring your voter registration card with you to the polls in order to vote OR one of the following forms of identification.
- A driver’s license or personal identification card issued by Texas or another state, even if the license or card has expired;
- A form of identification that contains your photograph and establishes your identity;
- A birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes the person’s identity;
- Your United States citizenship papers;
- Your United States passport;
- Official mail addressed to you by a governmental entity; or
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
Q: When and where do I vote?
A: You can vote early from October 22nd through November 2nd or on Election Day November 6th at ANY polling location in Travis County; this year, Travis County residents do not have to go to their own precinct polling location to vote on Election Day. For election day locations, please visit http://www.traviscountyclerk.org/eclerk/Content.do?code=Elections.
Early Voting Sites and Hours:
MEGA VOTING SITE
Highland Mall, 6001 Airport Blvd
More parking, voting machines, and workers to serve you
Use main entrance with green awning, go left toward escalators, next to Texas Teams Store, #1390
Hours for October 22 – October 30:
Monday – Saturday 7 am – 7 pm and Sunday Noon – 6 pm
Hours for October 31 – November 2:
Wednesday – Friday 7 am – 9 pm
OTHER TRAVIS COUNTY LOCATIONS
Hours for October 22 – November 2:
Monday – Saturday 7 am – 7 pm and Sunday Noon – 6 pm
Fiesta Mart Central in Delwood Shopping Center 3909 North IH-35
University of Texas Flawn Academic Center (Lobby) 2400 Inner Campus Drive on the
Howson Public Library 2500 Exposition Boulevard
Hancock Center, Suite 710, (Next to HEB Entrance) 1000 East 41 Street
Ben Hur Shriners Hall 7811 Rockwood Lane
Round Rock ISD Performing Arts Center 5800 McNeil Drive
County Tax Office, Pflugerville (Community Room) 15822 Foothill Farms Loop
Goodwill Industries 1015 Norwood Park Boulevard
Randalls Research and Braker 10900-D Research Boulevard
Randalls Steiner Ranch 5145 RM 620 North
HEB South Congress 2400 South Congress Avenue
Randalls Ben White and Manchaca 2025 West Ben White Boulevard
Lamar Plaza Shopping Center 1150 South Lamar Boulevard
Dan Ruiz Public Library 1600 Grove Boulevard
Fiesta Mart Stassney 5510 South IH-35
Randalls South Mopac and William Cannon 6600 South Mopac
Randalls Brodie and Slaughter 9911 Brodie Lane
Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center 2608 Gonzales Street at East 7th Street
Dottie Jordan Recreation Center 2803 Loyola Lane
Carver Library and Museum Complex 1165 Angelina Street
Flagship Randalls West Lake Hills 3300 Bee Caves Road
Randalls Lakeway 2301 RR 620 South
Q: What if I read or speak limited English?
A: You have the right to bring a family member or friend to interpret for you or assist you in translating and casting your ballot in the voting booth. The only restriction is the person cannot be an employer or an agent of your employer or an agent of your union.
Q: What if I don’t understand how to vote?
A: You have the right to ask a poll worker how to cast a ballot or use the voting machines.
Q: What if I have a disability?
A: You have the right to be assisted by a family member, friend, or election worker. You can have a ballot read to you or brought outside to your car if physically impaired. All polling locations are required to meet accessibility guidelines for people with disabilities.
Q: What if I’m told my name is not on the list of eligible voters?
A: You have the right to demand a provisional ballot. If you were given a receipt when you registered to vote, show it to the poll worker.
Q: What if I’m denied a ballot or am harassed at the polls?
A: Do not leave without voting! Call the Travis County Clerk for assistance at (512) 854-4996 or the Voter Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).
Q: Where can I find more information about the election?
A: You can contact the Travis County Clerk’s Elections Division at (512) 238-VOTE (8683) or visit www.traviscountyelections.org. More information is also available from http://www.VoteTexas.gov.