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Voting as American as apple pie

Profile image for Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial
Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial

Today is election day in Texas. We strongly urge you to go to the polls if you have not already voted early or cast a ballot by mail.

Democracy only works if large numbers of people turn out to vote. When citizens are too cynical or too discouraged to vote, the beneficiaries are the extremely wealthy people who spend big money to back candidates who promise to cut taxes regardless of whom it hurts.

Take Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, for example. His biggest campaign donors happen to be wealthy oil and gas billionaires intent upon decreasing the amount of property tax revenue dedicated to public schools.

Paxton has embarked on a campaign of intimidation against public school systems participating in a get-out-the-vote campaign this year. We agree with Paxton that public employees -- people such as school superintendents and principals -- have no business using public funds to electioneer for favored candidates.

But encouraging public school system employees to vote is not electioneering. It's as American as apple pie. Paxton's attempt to scare school districts from participating in democracy is a reprehensible example of how politics today is practiced as scorched-earth warfare.

Republicans, Democrats and independents all should be dedicated to the proposition that everyone should vote. Any attempt to suppress turnout -- for any reason -- should be considered un-American.