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Monday, October 25, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 45

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About the Cougar
 

Staff Editorial
 

EDITORIAL BOARD

John Harp                                 Ed De La Garza 
Jason Caesar Consolacion     Jim Parsons 
 

Run to the polls

If current early voter turnout can be seen as a harbinger, Election Day '99 will pass with as little as 15 percent of qualified voters bothering to exercise their right.

There are no high-profile races to speak of -- just a bunch of propositions and referendums with confusing explanations. Mayor Lee P. Brown is sure to gain a landslide victory over his two opponents Jack Terence, publisher of The Houstonian weekly newspaper, and Outlaw Josey Wales IV, a wrestling promoter.

Why bother -- aside from it being more than a "right" to vote (it's actually a duty)? And more importantly, in the grand scheme of things, once the final ballots are counted, does it really matter if a few people don't get out to the polls? Well, yes it does.

Since turnout is expected to be low, a few votes could swing the results for or against a referendum. Everyone has heard about the vote for a new downtown arena. Proponents say it furthers Houston's new image. Opponents say it's the wrong arena for the wrong time. Either way, it's public money, and there's only one way the public can make its voice heard.

Then there's Proposition 17, which concerns the Permanent University Fund. This fund applies solely to the University of Texas and Texas A&M. A vote for it could free up more money for these two institutions.

Do they need it? Is a vote against the proposition sticking it to the two universities that always get what they want while UH is left to scrape the bottom of the barrel? What's really at stake?

Other than voter projections, the fact that of those people who actually do turn out, a low percentage will actually know what's on the ballot.

With that in mind, The Daily Cougar editorial board will offer a brief voter's guide in the Nov. 1 issue of the Cougar. We stress the word brief. It's up to the individual voter to study the issues and make informed decisions.

Don't make the excuse about not having the time. Early voting continues through Oct. 29. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today through Wednesday, and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. For more information concerning locations, call (713) 755-6965 or visit www.co.harris.tx.us/cclerk.

Corrections:

In the first paragraph of Friday's News article "Commission begins work on women's issues," the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women was incorrectly called a "committee." Also, in the box accompanying the story, University Studies academic adviser Stella Thorp's name was misspelled.
 

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