Founder: Tanisha Manning
During 2020, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, racial injustice, and political chaos, Tanisha Manning recognized a missing link in the voting process in America. Elections are not promoted or deemed popular enough for the media or news unless there is a Presidential Election. When there is a Presidential Election, the messaging is always simply, "Go Vote". However, there are local elections every year and even more, during Presidential Election years, there are many other local, state, and federal positions on the ballot. And most important of all, the real work begins AFTER elections. Tanisha therefore created Engaged Voters to provide vital civic engagement information to the average citizen who simply "does not know." It is an organization and platform that teaches, encourages, and reaches all Americans, but especially those in Houston, Texas. Its mission is to inform citizens about not only the process of registering to vote and voting, but more importantly, what each position on the ballot is responsible for and how to engage elected officials after they're elected to those positions.
What Does It Look Like To Be An Engaged Voter?
This is a great, paid way to get engaged in the voting process!
POLL WORKERS' DUTIES
NATIONAL DUTIES: Duties depend on the state/county. Typically, poll workers set up sites, greet voters, check in and process voters, assist the elderly, pass out stickers, and break down stations. Above all, this election cycle, poll workers will implement COVID safety measures.
HOUSTON POLL WORKERS' DUTIES: Observe election activities, manage lines, set up sites, greet voters, check in and process voters, and assist the elderly, pass out stickers, and break down stations. Workers will also implement COVID safety measures. Each worker is only responsible for certain duties, not all listed.
WHY YOU SHOULD BECOME A POLL WORKER
There is a strong possibility of long lines and confusion at the polls. You will serve a direct role in protecting citizens at the polls! Plus, there is a nationwide shortage of citizens at the polls. The biggest benefit is: YOU GET PAID! Pay varies by state/counties.
HOUSTON PAY RATE IS $17/HOUR.
HOW TO BECOME A POLL WORKER
NATIONAL: Contact your local election office or your political party's local office to sign up. Requirements vary per state/county but likely requirements are (a) minimum age required; (b) must be registered to vote; and (c) local residency in the county/state
HOUSTON: Requirements are (a) must be a registered Harris County voter, (b) must have your own transportation to and from the polls, and (c) must be able to attend the paid training. To Sign Up:
THE 4 WAYS YOU CAN VOTE
Remember, you can only vote once so therefore, you can only use one of these methods to vote! It is very important that you vote in each election, not just the Presidential Election.
If you will not physically be in your state/county during BOTH the Early Day Voting period and Election Day, you can mail in your ballot.
You must first request the ballot and then mail it in before your state/county's listed deadline.
Request your ballot by Oct. 23, 2020
You can (1) drop the ballot off at any of the 11 County Annexes (must have ID), or (2) Mail it by USPS but it has to be postmarked by 7:00pm on Nov. 3rd, or (3) Mail it with Fedex or UPS, but it must be received by 7:00pm on Election Day
MAIL IN VOTING
This is just like Absentee Voting and is an option that is available due to the risk of the spread of COVID-19. The only difference is you do not have to be physically outside your county/state to qualify.
Each state has its own requirements, so check. Some states do not allow mail in voting due to COVID-19.
Everyone is not eligible for this option!
You must be (1) 65 years of age or older, OR (2) Confined in jail but still eligible to vote, OR (3) Sick or disabled. Sick and disabled does include a fear of contracting COVID-19 but you MUST ALSO HAVE AN UNDERLYING CONDITION TO QUALIFY.
Ballots are due by November 3rd. See Absentee Voting above.
For all questions, visit: Vote by Mail in Harris County
EARLY DAY VOTING
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. If you cannot or choose not to vote on that day due to your own personal reasons, you can vote early.
Each state has specific days set for Early Voting so be sure to check for yours. Some states do not offer this option.
Early Voting Days in Houston are October 13-30, 2020! Polls are open from 7am - 7pm. On Oct. 26th - 29th the polls will close at 10pm. On Oct. 29th, the polls will be open for 24 hours at 7 locations. On Oct. 30th, the polls will close at 7pm.
You can vote at ANY polling site including the Toyota Center and NRG! Where you live in the city does not matter. Here is a link to look up polling locations: Harris County Polling Locations
ELECTION DAY VOTING
National Election Day is November 3, 2020. This is the last day you can vote in the 2020 Election no matter which state you live in!
Polls close at different times depending on your state. This is important to check.
Polls open at 7:00am and close at 7:00pm.
7 locations will have Drive-Thru voting options.
The Toyota Center and NRG are now poll sites. You can vote there or any other site, your address does not matter in determining where you can vote. Here is a link to look up polling locations: Harris County Polling Locations
35 Senate Seats:
Each state has 2 Senators. They serve 6 year terms. Not all Senators are up for election this year, but 35 are. Senators make up the U.S. Senate. They approve all appointments made by the President (such as Supreme Court, Secretary of Education, Housing, etc.) Senators vote on any federal Bills/Laws that are passed in the House of Representatives. Each Senator has one vote. They also introduce federal Bills/Laws for the House to vote on. They hold public hearings (meetings) on relevant issues to determine what bills should be introduced to address/resolve those issues. The Senate is responsible for holding a trial for impeachment of the President.
Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia (2 Seats), Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming
435 House Seats:
Each state has Representatives but the number is based on that state's population, with a minimum of one. The larger the population, the more number of representatives a state has. Each Representative serves for a 2 year term and can be re-elected for an unlimited number of times. U.S. Representatives write and introduce federal bills and approve any that are passed in the Senate. They hold public hearings (meetings) on relevant issues to determine what bills should be introduced to address/resolve those issues. They also must vote on whether to impeach the President or not. They each have one vote.
All States, All Seats
The Governor is the Chief Elected Official of each state and is elected in each state. Their term lengths and limits depend on the state. Governors' powers vary from state to state but they typically veto state bills and make state decisions when dealing with issues such as the pandemic and state elections. All other state and local officials must follow the guidance of the office and state legislature.
Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia
10 Attorney Generals:
The Attorney General of each state is the chief legal advisor and chief law enforcement agent of each state. They represent the state any lawsuit against the state and they can be responsible for prosecuting/bringing charges against police officers in their state.
Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia
44 State Legislatures: 100s of State Representatives and State Senators:
State Legislatures function similarly as the Federal Legislature. State Senators and Representatives draft policies, hold debates on the policies, and then vote to pass them or not. They hold public meetings and work within committees. For example, state legislatures decide whether to legalize marijuana in a state or not.
Only 6 States are NOT holding elections for their State Legislators: Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia
Judges: Civil, Criminal, Appeals, and State Supreme Courts:
Judges are responsible for deciding judgments/verdicts and sentencing on cases. Cases range from civil issues to criminal issues depending on the judge and which court they preside over (local, state, or federal). The Supreme Court of the United States positions are not elected but are appointed by the President of the United States.
Varies by state.
7 Secretary of States:
This position does not exist in Alaska, Hawaii, or Utah. 35 states elect the Secretary of State and the other 12 states they are appointed by the governor or state legislature. Their responsibilities differ by each state but many are responsible for keeping state records, registering businesses (LLCs, Corporations, etc.), and administering the elections.
Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia
State treasurers are elected and typically have responsibility over debts, payroll for public officials, pension funds, and other financial authorities such as fraud prevention with state funds. 48 states have State Treasurers and 36 of them are elected. Term limits and lengths vary from state to state.
Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia
48 states have auditors and their term lengths are between 4-10 years. They monitor the activity of state agencies and investigate fraud allegations. They also perform internal government audits.
Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia
18 Board of Education Officials:
These offices are responsible for overseeing the elementary and secondary schools in a state. The position of Superintendent exists in all 50 states but may be appointed or elected. Boards of Education members may also be appointed or elected. They determine how many financial resources are allocated to schools, when schools should open or close, especially during the pandemic, and they also have power/control over state testing and the state curriculum.
Alabama, Colorado (+ Board of Regents), Kansas, Michigan (+ Board of Regents), Montana (Superintendent), Nebraska (+ Board of Regents), Nevada (+ Board of Regents), New Mexico (Public Education Commissioner), North Carolina (Superintendent), North Dakota (Superintendent), Ohio, Texas, Utah, Washington (Superintendent)
Commissioner roles vary for each position and are responsible for regulating a particular aspect in the state. You can check BallotPedia for a small description of each commissioner's role or your state's website.
Alabama: Public Service; Arizona: Corporation; Delaware: Insurance; Georgia: Public Service, Louisiana: Public Service; Montana: Public Service; Nebraska: Public Service; New Mexico: Public Regulation; North Carolina: Agriculture, Labor, and Insurance; North Dakota: Insurance and Public Service; Oklahoma: Corporation; South Dakota: Public Utilities; Texas: Railroad; Washington: Natural Resources and Insurance; West Virginia: Agriculture
29 Mayors out of the 100 Most Populated Cities:
Mayors are elected positions who oversee their cities' main departments including the police, fire, education, housing, and transportation departments. States also have city councils and some states give more authority to the councils rather than the mayors. Mayors preside over council meetings, sign proclamations, and may have veto power over certain city decisions. Some mayors are also responsible for hiring and firing staff and for appointing positions, such as the Chief of Police in the city.
Arizona: Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, and Scottsdale; California: Bakersfield, Fremont, Fresno, Irvine, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Ana, and Stockton; Hawaii: Honolulu; Louisiana: Baton Rouge; Maryland: Baltimore; North Carolina: Winston-Salem; Oklahoma: Tulsa; Oregon: Portland; Texas: Corpus Christi, El Paso, Irving, and Lubbock; Virginia: Chesapeake, Norfolk, Richmond, and Virginia Beach; Wisconsin: Milwaukee
City Councils, Sheriffs, County Commissioners, District Attorneys, County Attorneys, Constables, and Various Judges
City Councils: Drafts ordinances and creates policies for cities; oversees the city's budget such as budgets for the police departments; holds public meetings for citizens to attend and raise concerns
Sheriffs: Maintains custody of persons committed to jail and supervises jail system. Provides court bailiffs and warrant officers, detective and investigation services, and patrol officers
County Commissioners: acts as the executive of the local government, levies local taxes, administers county services such as correctional institutions, courts, public health oversight, property registration, building code enforcement, and public works (e.g. road maintenance)
District Attorneys: prosecute criminal cases in courts, review police reports, and decide whether to bring charges of accused people, including police officers when necessary
County Attorneys: similar as a district attorney, represents the state in criminal cases, prosecutes criminal cases, and works with the law enforcement agencies
Constables: performs various law enforcement duties such as issuing traffic citations and serving warrants, subpoenas, and restraining orders
Various Judges: give judgments/verdicts and provide sentencing for various criminal and civil cases
Varies by County and City
Candidates and Description of the Positions will be provided soon.
President of the United States
United States Senator (only 1)
United States Representatives
Texas Supreme Court Judges
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judges
Texas Railroad Commissioner
Texas State Senators
Texas State Representatives
Texas District Court of Appeals Judges
Texas District Judges (Criminal and Civil)
Harris County Attorney
Harris County District Attorney
Harris County Sheriff
Harris County Commissioners
Harris County Department of Education Board of Trustees Positions
Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector
Harris County Civil Judges
Harris County Criminal Judges
Harris County Justice of the Peace
Harris County Constable