Tuesday is the day.
The day to be heard.
The day to support those who will represent you the way you would like.
The day to vote.
If you didn’t vote early, the first Tuesday in November is your day to get to the polls and make sure that your vote and your opinion are counted.
All 1,403,034 of you.
That’s how many registered voters there are in Dallas County, as of Oct. 26, according to dallascountyvotes.org, the official website of the Dallas County Elections Department. They are served by more than 1,500 precincts and make up almost 10 percent of the more than 16-million voters in Texas.
Individuals do not have to vote in their precinct, but must vote in the county where they reside. This is one reason why the Mavericks, teaming up with the city of Dallas, have made the voting process as easy as it can be by turning American Airlines Center into the largest polling place in Dallas County.
The home of the Mavericks and Stars was a popular destination during early voting. And it featured very little waiting time for individuals who came to cast their ballot. According to reports, more than 600,000 north Texans voted early and many of them came through AAC.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the north Texas area as voters take part in one of the most emotional presidential elections in history.
How easy is it to vote at AAC?
Mavericks’ assistant coach Jamahl Mosley can explain. He had a friend who lives in Dallas and spends his lunch hour often running on the Katy Trail.
“It’s fantastic, what they’ve done with AAC,” Mosley said. “It’s safe and it’s easy. A friend of mine called me when he was out on a run on the Katy Trail. He was going for a six-mile run.
“He finished the first half, three miles, went into AAC and voted, then finished the second half of the workout. That’s how easy it is.”
During early voting, there were minimal wait times and, often, voters could park (for free), vote and depart within 15 minutes.
AAC officials know there will be bigger crowds on election day. Social distancing will be enforced and security will be on hand.
If AAC is not convenient for you, you can find all Dallas County polling spots at https://www.dallascountyvotes.org/wp-content/uploads/WEB-Election-Day-Polling-Locations-43.pdf .
While the presidency is on the line in this election many local races are on the docket, too, and those will have wide-ranging implications to the Dallas area.
The importance of casting an educated vote cannot be overstated. The Mavericks have spent many hours working with assorted Dallas-area initiatives and groups to encourage people to vote. And to get involved when it comes to knowing the important issues.
“Educate yourself on what you’re voting on,” said Michael Finley, the Mavericks’ vice president of player personnel. “There’s a lot of research to help young kids about the vote. And I can’t emphasize it enough. Vote.
“To use a sports term, get off the bench and get in the game – by voting. It’s something that people fought for – for years and years – to get the right to do. For us not to take advantage of it is doing a discredit to those that sacrificed – some even with their lives – so we could have the right to vote.”
And for those who feel that their vote might not make a difference, there have been many occasions when elections – particularly local elections – come down to just a handful of votes.
Marisa Renee Lee, senior adviser of the Justice Collaborative, recently said on an edition of the Team Up For Change initiative:
“Individuals really do matter. Especially when we’re talking about a system that is so local. I cannot emphasize this enough, but having done a lot of work around district attorney races, often times, those elections are won by hundreds of votes. So if you think your individual vote in those down-ballot races can’t have an impact on the reform you want to see, you’re wrong. It absolutely has meaningful impact. So decide what step you’re going to take, and take it.”
As Mosley added: “What we’ve tried to stress to our guys (Mavericks’ players) is that it’s not just at the top. Everybody talks about the presidency and nation, but there are so many political races that hit at the local level. You can create change in the local area.”
The bottom line is that, on election day, every voice matters. And there’s really only one certainty.
If you don’t vote, you can’t gripe about the outcome.