Choose your fighter

Julia Zaksek , Sr. managing editor

As the willingness to vote in national elections appears to be dwindling, polling locations in state and local elections continue to tout low turnout numbers. Often, it is difficult to conceptualize the effect local and state elected officials will have on the day-to-day. In the big picture, elections on the state and county level are frequently viewed as insignificant.

However, change begins at every level. Your local officials influence the technology in your school, the streets you drive on, and the stadium in which you sit. Your state officials influence national and international decisions and policies. Impact isn’t limited to executive orders or presidential veto. How you vote and who you vote for will impact both what is around you and what is beyond you.

As the next generation of voters, responsibility rests with us. Change begins with a vote. Learn more about a few important state and local offices , register to vote, and start causing change.


Every state elects two senators to serve a six year term. In conjunction with the House of Representatives, the Senate presides over lawmaking in Washington. Our state senators can both propose legislation in the form of bills and vote on bills proposed by other members of Congress.  If both the Senate and the House of Representatives vote to pass the bill, the bill is sent on to the president. If the president chooses to sign the bill into law, the proposed bill becomes a law.


The House of Representatives also consists of representatives from each state. However, the number of seats is proportional to each state’s population. Texas has 36 representatives, each serving a two year term. The House is equally involved in the process of lawmaking. Members can propose bills and vote on the bills proposed by both other House Representatives and members of the Senate.


The Texas governor serves as the state’s chief executive officer for a four-year term. The governor is responsible for implementing state laws, overseeing the state executive branch, signing and vetoing bills passed by the state legislature, proposing state legislation, and appointing Texas state officials.

Lt. Governor

The Texas lieutenant governor is elected separately from the Texas governor and also serves a term of four years. The lieutenant governor serves both the governor in the executive branch and oversees several sections of the legislative branch. If the governor leaves office during term, the lieutenant governor becomes the governor.

County Judge

The county judge is the chief officer of the commissioners court, the Collin County court. The county judge presides over a variety of county cases and represents the county in administrative issues.

How to Register

  1. You must be at least 17 years and 10 months old to vote and registered at least 30 days in advance.
  2. Visit for a voter registration form.
  3. Print, complete, and sign the form.
  4. Either mail the form to Registrar of Voters, 2010 Redbud Blvd., Suite 102, McKinney, Texas 75069
  5. Or, email your application to:

How to learn more

  1. Visit the official sites for the Collin County political parties as well as candidate websites to learn more about candidates and party stances.
  2. Stay up to date on voting locations and hours in Allen.
  3. Attend local campaign events, speeches and fundraisers to learn more about local and state candidates.