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Select ONE of the following topics to answer for Writing Assignment 1. The writing assignment should be a minimum of 750 words. You should find most of the information you need to complete the assignment in the textbook, but it may improve your submission by using additional sources (such as news articles or government websites).  See the Writing Assignment Instructions for more information.
What are some of the past and more recent barriers to voting in Texas?  (Be specific) What accounts for the low level of voter participation in Texas?  What can be done to increase voter participation?  (Specifically discuss at least two policy proposals that election officials could adopt.)  Under legislation passed in 2017, Texas will be eliminating straight-ticket voting beginning with the 2020 elections.  Do you agree with this?  Why or why not?

Discuss the gender, racial and educational makeup of the Texas Legislature.  (Refer to “Who are Texans?” in Chapter 7.)  Does it adequately represent the population of the state?  If the legislature had more people of color, more women, or more people of varying levels of education, do you think it would pass different policies?  If so, what kinds of policies might they pass?  (Be specific here.)  Does the part-time nature of the Texas legislature encourage or discourage people from particular occupations to run?  Do you think a full-time legislature could make the legislature more representative?  Why or why not?