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May 24, 2022 - Democratic and Republican Primary Runoff Elections & Early Voting Information

Information from the Williamson County Elections Office

  • 9 mayo 2022
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 462
  • 0 Comments

Image of illustrated hand depositing ballot into white box marked VOTE by www.bing.com/imagesElection Day: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Early Voting period: Monday, May 16 to Friday, May 20

Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (Received, not postmarked): Friday, May 13

CLICK HERE FOR COMPREHENSIVE SAMPLE BALLOT

NOTICE OF ELECTION - DEMOCRATIC PARTY

NOTICE OF ELECTION - REPUBLICAN PARTY
The polling location is in the designated areas of each location.

May 24, 2022 Texas Secretary of State Election Law Calendar

If you voted in the March 1 primary, you can cast your vote only in runoff races for the same party. If you didn’t vote in the March primaries this year, you can choose to vote in either the Democratic or Republican runoffs as long as you are registered to vote.

May 7 Joint, General and Special Election -- Plus Locations for Round Rock, Cedar Park & Austin

Information from the Williamson County Elections Office

  • 4 mayo 2022
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 416
  • 0 Comments

Depending on where you live, you may get to vote on city council and school board elections, and city propositions.

Image of a a hand with a finger pressing the red button with white letters that spell VOTE from www.flaticon.com/free-icon/online-voting

Everyone has the opportunity to vote on TWO statewide propositions.

CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE BALLOT LOOKUP

Elections (wilco.org)


 

Newest court helps families make it together

Column by Commissioner Cook

  • 21 abril 2022
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 363
  • 0 Comments
Williamson Co. Commissioner Cook: Newest court helps families make it together (statesman.com)

District Court Judge Ryan Larson is one of three Williamson County judges who have collectively worked to establish a specialty court for family restoration.

We travel through life wishing certain moments were forever. For some, that wish seems to happen. For others, the wish dims but for a while, then the glow returns. Yet there are many whose wish disappears with little hope of it returning. 

I have written about several programs in the Williamson County judicial system restoring lives and hope: our specialty courts for those suffering from substance use disorder(s) like illicit drugs and alcohol; our transformative justice program for youthful offenders (non-violent) and, just last month, our stellar juvenile justice program of trust-based relational intervention for the troubled youths sent to their care. 

I recently joined the Round Rock Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for an Ishtar dinner the first weekend of Ramadan and was asked to speak about "Justice through Compassion." What a great opportunity to talk about the three programs listed above and how, through investing in those lives — seemingly on the wrong path — brings changes in positive ways. Jail is sometimes cheaper but rarely results in positive changes in the trajectory of a person’s life.

I’m lauding our newest, compassionate program: Family Recovery Court. This program focuses on families torn apart by drugs, alcohol and perhaps mental health challenges in which children are removed from their homes destined, at least for a time, for life in the Child Protective Services arena. We’ve heard the disconcerting tales of the CPS world in Texas and feel blessed that we were never in that or that we survived. This court must address the needs of at least one parent, but hopefully both parents, and all their children. In this case, it does take a community.

Kids soar with mentoring through juvenile justice programs

Column by Commissioner Cook

  • 17 marzo 2022
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 595
  • 0 Comments

Williamson County Juvenile Services Assistant Director Matt Smith trains officers from Williamson County and from Oklahoma in Trust-Based Relational intervention in Georgetown. Juvenile Services Executive Director Scott Matthew is seated at far left. Once, kids ordered to Williamson County’s Juvenile Justice Center by a judge were met with a military academy culture that focused on building self-discipline and increasing compliance with rules.

Despite some gains, recidivism rates were high, with many youths penetrating further in the justice system. Executive Director Scott Matthew and Assistant Director Matt Smith looked for a better way. Their search led them down several paths, and one was to Round Rock Starry, a local nonprofit known for supporting youths and families in the Child Protective Services and foster care system. Recognizing that kids in the Starry programs have experienced significant trauma, its leadership implemented the internationally recognized Trust-Based Relational Intervention framework.

TBRI, the brainchild of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University, offers innovative approaches for working with traumatized children. 

A look at the backgrounds of the youths at the juvenile center revealed that 83% of its residents had been in the CPS system, with 27% of those youths previously removed from their homes.

Recognizing that youths in both systems have similar backgrounds and that many touch both systems, in 2016 Matthew and Smith sought TBRI training for the staff at the juvenile center. Their previous approach wasn’t addressing root causes in most kid’s lives; the staff wanted to make a positive long-term difference in the lives of the kids placed in their care. 

Through TBRI training, juvenile agency staff learned how adverse childhood experiences impact normal brain development when toxic stress levels are daily occurrences for children. 

So how do children with brains geared for survival operate normally in this world? They struggle. TBRI practitioners blend nurture and structure as they work with kids on their behavioral responses to events and pressures in their lives. The focus is on teaching these youths appropriate coping skills. Mentoring and teaching, not punishment, brings improvement and positive change for the children. Lives can be changed. In many cases, time spent at the juvenile center can be the best thing in these kids’ lives to date.

Why vote? Here are 6 reasons.

Column by Commissioner Cook

  • 17 febrero 2022
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 786
  • 0 Comments

Commissioner Cook is shown holding her voter registration card and driver’s license after she voted early at the Jester Annex in Round Rock during the last midterm elections.Williamson County Commissioner Terry Cook: Why vote? Here are 6 reasons. (statesman.com)

Why vote?

In preparation for this topic, I perused the history of elections and voting on History.com. Apparently colonial candidates boozed up voters to, through and after the polls. George Washington is reported to have plied his potential voters with 47 gallons of beer, 35 gallons of wine, 2 gallons of cider, 3.5 pints of brandy and a whopping 70 gallons of rum punch. He won the election by 310 votes.

So who were these voters? Primarily wealthy, white, landholding, Protestant men.  However, voting did not start out with the coveted privacy of the ballot deposited in a box, but was an in-person, audible vote. The wealthy voters might have received individual visits from the candidates prior to the election. On election day, supporters in many cities rented out taverns for a boozy pre-vote party. Then everyone would participate in an impromptu parade to the polls. For the less rich, all action was on election day when the candidates were expected to greet all at the polls. Following the vote, additional tavern-parties, complete with booze and food no matter how you voted, would occur. Ah, the good ol’ days.

So how did we come to have nationwide Election Day on a November Tuesday, that fickle month for weather? We go back to 1845 when Congress passed a federal designation for the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November as Election Day across the country. Congress sought to eliminate early voting in some parts of the nation from influencing the later votes in other areas. Why Tuesday and why November? Back in the day, America was primarily an agrarian economy. Crops were planted during spring or late summer, were harvested primarily in or at the end of the summer and all that work afterward continued into late fall. 

You had to travel to your county’s seat to cast your vote – think about how big some of Texas’ counties are and your transportation mode was a horse. It could easily take over a day to reach your poll site. Sundays were church days and were not to be encroached upon. Wednesdays were market days – your horse was needed to pull the wagon into town. We are still primarily following the farm culture for the vote although mail-in voting and early voting has increased our bandwidth for casting votes.

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