There's a lot going on in our world now and it is hard to keep up with all we need to know.
Since March, our world has been shaped by the novel coronavirus that has brought most of us to a halt, working from home if possible, teaching our children after the schools shut down and spending more time watching television after live theater, movie houses and in-person concerts closed up shop. We either cooked at home or picked up food from restaurants with dining rooms closed for the duration and attended church online.
The new normal was anything but, yet somehow we adapted. About six weeks ago, Texas a several other states began reopening in stages. Social distancing was mandatory and masks strongly were encouraged.
Oops, perhaps we were a little too soon. The coronavirus took off once again and cases of COVID-19 went through the roof. So, we started slowing down a bit again.
Now, we are trying to figure out how to open schools and universities safely. We are ready to eat out again, to visit with friends over drinks. We are eager for football season to get underway.
At this point, we aren't sure when any of this will happen or what it will look like when it does. A lot of good minds are working hard to find the answers and develop the plans.
In the midst of the coronavirus shut down came the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of seemingly rogue police. Suddenly, protests popped up all across this great country -- including in College Station and Bryan -- proclaiming what should have been obvious all along: Black Lives Matter.
There were demands that statues to Confederate war figures -- including Lawrence Sullivan Ross at Texas A&M -- be removed. Mississippi was forced to begin a review of the use of the Confederate battle flag on the current state flag.
Finally -- finally -- many white Americans began to understand what it is like to be a Black American. This time, this time things just may change for the better. All Americans working together just may accomplish a new day of understanding and acceptance of all people of this country.
On top of all this, activities surrounding the November general election has been picking up. President Donald Trump has made a few campaign appearances that have, not unexpectedly, drawn cheers and jeers. For the most part, even though he touts the use of masks, he has refused to wear one.
The president's likely opponent,former Vice President Joe Biden, has mostly chosen to campaign via video -- and when he does go out, he wears a mask.
But that's not all. Before we can go to the polls in November, we still have a few positions on the ballot yet to fill. On March 3, Republicans and Democrats went to the polls in Texas to pick their nominees for various offices. Candidates who didn't get at least 50 percent of the votes cast on Super Tuesday would face the runners up in a runoff election, originally scheduled for April. The coronavirus intervened, but on Tuesday, Texans finally will pick the last of the candidates for the November ballot. There aren't many names on the Brazos County ballots, but it still is important to vote. It is one of the few real powers we have,
If you voted in the Republican Primary in March, you may vote only in the Republican runoff on Tuesdays. Those who voted Democratic in March may vote only in the Democratic runoff. If you didn't vote in either primary and are registered to vote, you may cast your ballot in either primary.
Candidates on the Brazos County Republican ballot Tuesday are, in ballot order:
• U.S. representative, District 17 -- Former Rep. Pete Sessions vs. Renee Swann.
• Brazos County commissioner, Precinct 1 -- College Station school board President Michael Schaefer vs. incumbent Precinct 1 Commissioner Steve Aldrich. Before the March 3 Primary, The Eagle recommended a vote for Aldrich.
Candidates on the Brazos County Democratic ballot Tuesday are, in ballot order:
• U.S. senators -- Royce West vs. Mary 'MJ" Hegar.
• U.S. representative, District 17 -- David Anthony Jaramillo vs. Rick Kennedy.
• Railroad Commissioner -- Roberto R. "Beto" Alonzo vs. Chrysta Castañeda.
Winners Tuesday will advance to the Nov. 3 general election ballot against already-chosen candidates.
Polls Tuesday will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Polling places are:
• Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan.
• Brazos County Administration Building, 200 S. Texas Ave., Bryan.
• College Station City Hall, 1101 Texas Ave., College Station.
• Fellowship Freewill Baptist Church, 1228 W. Villa Maria Road, Bryan.
• Christ United Methodist Church, 4201 State Texas 6, South, College Station.
• Arena Hall, 2906 Tabor Road , Bryan.
• Wellborn Community Center, 4119 W. Greens Prairie Road, Wellborn.
• First Baptist Church, 3100 Cambridge Drive. Bryan.
Voters may cast a ballot at any of the eight locations.
Texas law requires voters to show approved identification. Among the acceptable forms of ID are:
• Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
• Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS.
• Texas personal identification card issued by DPS.
• Texas license to carry a handgun issued by DPS.
• United States military identification card containing your photograph.
• United States citizenship certificate containing your photograph.
• United States passport.
If you do not have one of these accepted forms of identification, voters may fill out a declaration at the polls explaining why and bring one of the following supporting documents:
• Valid voter registration certificate
• Certified birth certificate (must be an original)
• Copy of or original current utility bill
• Copy of or original bank statement
• Copy of or original government check
• Copy of or original paycheck
• Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph)
Every election is important and just because there are so few choices on the ballot Tuesday, doesn't mean the runoffs don't matter. Obviously voting Tuesday won't take but a moment, so please take the time and go to the polls.
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