The election is still almost two months away, but itís one that is too often met with disinterest from Texas voters. They wonít find the names of any presidential candidates, nor those of any other hopefuls for public office. But this is an election Texans should not ignore.

Even though they may not generate as much public interest and excitement as others, constitutional amendment elections play an important role in shaping the future of our state. Since it was enacted in 1876, the Texas State Constitution has been amended more than 400 times.

The 80th Legislature approved 16 amendments for voter consideration this year, and they range from bond packages for education and state construction and maintenance projects to the creation of a fund for cancer research.

Secretary of State Phil Wilson is traveling the state to boost awareness of the Nov. 6 election and to encourage voter participation. Plans for a visit to Brownwood on Monday have been announced, and the community should roll out the welcome mat for one of its own. Brownwood has been an important point on the map for statewide public officials for decades, but the fact that Wilson grew up here and graduated from Brownwood High makes this stop even more significant.

But the message Wilson is expected to bring is whatís most important.

ďVoting is an important part of being a Texan and is imperative to maintaining the strong democracy we have come to enjoy in our state,Ē Wilson said. ďI hope my fellow Texans will recognize their duty to cast their ballots on Election Day and will join me in exercising one of our most important rights we possess as Americans.Ē

This election is particularly important to Wilson, since it is his first since July 1 when he assumed the position that serves, among other things, as the stateís chief elections officer.

Itís not too soon to start doing your homework on these proposed amendments. Information will be forthcoming in the Bulletin, and is already posted on the Texas Secretary of Stateís Web site. Itís also not too soon to locate your voter registration card, or to apply for one if you donít have it. The deadline for registration is Oct. 9.

Brownwood Bulletin