‘Civic Duty’ Motivation for Those Who Voted in Texas Primaries

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DENTON, Texas—In the so-called Golden Triangle of Denton, Forth Worth, and Dallas, turnout appeared light at several polling places in this university city.

Most of those Republicans and Democrats who chose to speak to The Epoch Times said they voted out of a sense of “civic responsibility” rather than any pressing issue or person.

There were notable exceptions.

The Republicans

Steven Moitz, 22, a senior at the University of North Texas, is the President of the Young Conservatives for Texas and voiced his support for Donald Huffines for the Republican Governor’s primary.

“I think Huffines would take a stronger approach than Abbott obviously has, and I don’t see how any Republican representative who has closed down their state in response to Covid for as long as Abbott closed it, hurting businesses as it did, can keep their office after that. I’m ready for something new.”

Epoch Times Photo
Senior Stephen Moitz, 22, is the president of the Young Conservatives of Texas club at the University of North Texas. He is pictured with Bryanna Vasquez on March 1, 2022, at the Republican primary poll in Denton, Texas. (Patrick Butler/The Epoch Times)

“The other thing is that Huffines wants to take a strong stand on immigration, and I think that is increasingly a prevalent issue, not only here in Texas but in the states as a whole.”

Moitz and fellow student Bryanna Vasquez stood at a quiet polling place at the North Texas Fairgrounds, handing out conservative voter guides, to the “five people an hour” who showed up to vote, he said.

Tom Sands, 78, and his wife came to vote at the primary “because it was our civic duty to do it, and we wanted to stand for the things Republicans stand for; right to life, which was really important to us; defense of our borders, and voter registration integrity.”

Epoch Times Photo
Republican Tom Sands, 78, stands in front of the Primary polling place at the North Texas Fairgrounds, having just voted for Ken Paxton for Texas attorney general on March 1, 2022. (Patrick Butler/The Epoch Times)

Asked which candidates he favored that addressed those issues, he only singled out the attorney general’s race.

“We ended up voting for Ken Paxton, and yes, there may be problems there, but it’s a weighing process.”

Mrs. Sands declined to be interviewed for this story.

Nicholas Morgan, 44, has lived in Texas for 15 years and voted Republican in every election since.

“The platform issues on the ballot are the wrong direction for Republican politics in the state. It doesn’t have anything to do with fiscal responsibility in Texas. There were a lot of social issues [on the ballot] that have nothing to do with republicanism.”

The Republican platform in Texas was not to his liking.

“Today, you’re voting for what goes on the platform, so I voted ‘no’ on all the platform issues.

“For instance, having no income tax seems like a very Republican issue, but how can you do that and get rid of property taxes? It seems fair to me that if you have a bigger house, you pay more taxes.

“I like not having an income tax. I worked in California and there … the top 10 percent of it goes to the state.”

Republican Nicholas Morgan, 44, voted on Mar. 1 against the Texas Republican platform “because it had nothing to do with republicanism.” (Patrick Butler/The Epoch Times)

Funding to follow students in private schools was a “no” for him.

“So, we gut funding for public schools because it’s going to private schools? I think we should educate our kids.”

The Democrats

Dan Heiman, 49, a self-described “long-standing, somewhat liberal Democrat” has voted in every general election since Bill Clinton’s first presidency.

He saw no real difference in the election climate in Texas today than in past years.

“In terms of Texas, it [voting] has always been urgent,” he said. “There’s just a lot of tension in Texas, it’s always contentious here so, no, not more urgent than any other time.”

“I supported Beto [O’Rourke] when he went up against Ted Cruz, and I liked him. I think he tries to connect all different types of Texans, so I voted for him.”

Heiman declined to have his photo taken.

Kennan Keffir, 54, said that low voter turnout was “pathetic.”

“One of the properties of being an American is to go out and vote, whether you like any of the candidates … or not. You still need to go out there and do your duty.”

Term limits were on his mind.

”I think, overall, our political system needs an overhaul. We definitely need term limits, especially for the [state] Senate.  Two terms are long enough for anybody.

“The forefathers set it up that you do your due diligence, put in your time representing your community, and then go back to work instead of keeping it as your job.”

He added, “I really don’t talk about who I’m interested in or who I’m voting for, that’s my business, but as far as the whole [democratic] process, it’s amazing that new countries to democracy get 70 or 80 percent, and here … sometimes you get 20 or 25 percent. I’m sorry but that’s pathetic.”

Chelsea Rachel, 32, voted in the primaries for a very specific purpose.

“I just don’t like Greg Abbott,” she said. “I don’t like the talk about the right to have guns, but women don’t have rights over their own bodies.

“I think that’s hypocritical. I’m voting for Beto [O’Rourke] because I think he’s real, and not fake.”

Unlike some voters who didn’t particularly see the primaries as a critical election, she did.

Epoch Times Photo
Chelsea Rachel, 32, specifically came to the polls to vote against Greg Abbott. Pro-Choice issues were the main concern for her. (Patrick Butler/The Epoch Times)

“There are policies being decided, like the heartbeat bill SB 8—which I think is really unconstitutional—that are going to affect generations to come.”

For the record, these are the results of the Texas primary elections.

In the selection of those who will run against each other for Governor, the incumbent Greg Abbott won the Republican nomination with more than 1,286,000 votes; Beto O’Rourke won the Democratic nomination with more than 966,000 votes.

Patrick Butler

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