Voter turnout low in Rio Grande Valley

Local News

Statistics show that only two out of every 10 people vote in the Rio Grande Valley.

For the third year in a row, the Advocacy Alliance Center of Texas (AACT), a non-profit, non-partisan organization, is trying to improve voter turnout in the Valley.

“This is a time for us to plan for the future and so we have a good voter turnout in South Texas,” Israel Rocha, AACT board member and Chief Executive Officer at the Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, said.

In the 2012 Presidential Elections, South Texas saw an increase in voter turnout while other areas of the state saw decreases in numbers.

Even with an increase, the region is still far behind the rest of the state.

In Texas counties like Denton and Collin County, about 65% of people vote.

“Our goal is to simply have you come out and vote,” Rocha said. “Who you vote for is your choice and we ask you to exercise that choice.”

AACT partners gathered Thursday as early voting for the primaries winds down.

It was a sort of intervention where community leaders gather to discuss how they can increase the number of registered voters before election day in November.

“Voting does translate to better resources, better representation and better development of your community,” Rocha said.

Voting equals resources.

South Texas has a booming economy and needs better infrastructure to keep up with population demands.

“I think it’s educating on what and why it’s important and what we are missing if we don’t get enough people to vote,” Alfonso Cavasos, Mercedes of San Juan owner said.

Cavasos is offering a $1,000 prize to whichever employee can register the most voters over the next few months.

“I think this is such a great cause that I think it’s worth the money to educate people and register people to vote,” he said.

Early voting ends Friday and primary election day is on March 4th.

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