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Collin County Business Leaders Seek to Educate Voters about the Nov. 3 Election



PLANO, TX – As the Nov. 3 election looms on the horizon, voter turnout is sweeping the country and reaching unprecedented numbers in Texas with 5.3 million people voting in the first two weeks of early voting.

Harris County has become ground zero for this early voting explosion, according to a USA Today Oct. 21 report. About 800,000 people voted in the first eight days of early voting. The Austin American Statesman recently reported that more people have cast ballots in Travis County than the total number of ballots cast in 2016.

But North Texas isn’t far behind, in part, due to the efforts of several initiatives that seek to educate voters before they head to the polls, including Collin County Votes by the Collin County Business Alliance and five local chambers from Allen, Frisco, McKinney, and Plano.

The initiatives are sorely needed. Nearly every race is contested in Collin County, and the number of voters has increased 20 percent due to population growth, which means not everyone may be familiar with the races on the ballot. Straight-ticket voting, known as “one punch option,” is also no longer an option this election season after a federal appeals court upheld the 2017 ruling abolishing it in late September.

“Collin County Votes has been very effective and successful in educating citizens on the relevant issues and the candidates,” Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere says. “It has served as a pathway for voters to obtain important information while becoming civically engaged. The program has been very successful in terms of voter participation.”

Collin County Votes kicked off about five years after the Collin County Business Alliance formed in 2011. Made up of several local chambers and businesses, they were searching for a way to bring Collin County together and focus on issues that transcended city lines such as water and education. Voter engagement in local elections fit this mission.

“We focused in on how can we get our community to vote in local elections,” says Monica Shortino from the Collin County Business Alliance.

They created the website and began offering resources about local and statewide elections. They began uploading micro-videos of local candidates for school board, city council, and county commissioner to help inform voters and created a resource center with infographics such as “How to Pass a Bill in Texas,” “Public School Finance,” and a “Collin County Fact Sheet.” They also put together a corporate engagement tab to highlight the do’s and don’ts of promoting civic engagement at work:


  • Keep employees informed on key voting dates & events
  • Consider hosting a non-mandatory Election Day Party
  • Post a voting calendar in your office


  • Make endorsements of any candidate or political parties. Your role is to remain neutral when it comes to how your employees vote
  • Host any candidates in your space or an event your company is sponsoring unless candidates from all major parties in that race were provided the same opportunity to attend
  • Give out prizes, recognition or other incentives for voting.