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The RGV Equal Voice Network will launch a voter registration drive today as part of National Day of Voter Registration. The group will be at the Brownsville Community Health Center at 9 a.m. and the Alamo Precinct 2 Multipurpose Center at 11:30 a.m. "The Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network is committed to bringing the voice of all the residents of our communities to the tables of decision makers. An important way to be engaged in the affairs of our communities is the exercise of the right to vote," said Ramona Casas of ARISE, a member of RGV Equal Voice. Casas said Equal Voice has dozens of members trained and appointed as voter registration deputies in both Cameron and Hidalgo counties. "These volunteers form an important part in our effort to create a new cohort of engaged citizens," Casas said. She added that despite two courts finding that Texas Voter ID requirement discriminates and violates the Voting Rights Act, the law will probably be in effect for the elections. "This is a reminder that there are some Texans who have been willing to spend more than $8 million to make it difficult to vote. Now, more than ever, we need to show that we understand that our vote is our voice. The first step to lifting up that voice is to be sure that all people who qualify to vote are registered." Casas pointed out that Equal Voice Network affiliates are 501 (c) 3 recognized organizations and that their actions around civic engagement are strictly non-partisan. "We will not support a particular candidate or party," she said. "Nonpartisan civic activity, such as voter registration and engagement, is important work, and is work that is protected by our Constitution. Our goal is that all eligible citizens to be registered to vote and that all eligible voters to go to the polls each Election Day. We believe America and Texas is stronger when everyone can add his or her voice to our democracy."

Our News in Pictures feature for Tuesday, September 22, 2015, focuses on the National Day of Voter Registration, state Senate appointments to the Joint Interim Committee to Study Border Security, PSJA ISD’s John Doedyns Elementary School being ranked No. 2 in the world for the 2015 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, and an upcoming Minitroplis® Showcase event for leaders across the state hosted by IBC Bank and Sam Houston Elementary School in McAllen.