By Micaela Freeman | Staff Writer
Baylor students have until Friday to participate in early voting, before the Texas primary election Tuesday. Students who are registered to vote, as well as registered voters all over the state, will travel to designated areas to vote in the primary election. Now, most of the class of 2021 is able to vote.
Dallas senior Heather Bayless said she is eager to practice her civic duties as a member of the latest generation to be able to vote.
Bayless, who views herself as an independent, said she saw voting as a privilege and finds it important in her life.
“When I was younger, I looked forward to being able to vote, like I was eager to get to do it,” Bayless said. “I felt like it was the marker of being a real adult. I’ll be voting early when I go home this Friday. Being an aware citizen isn’t just an every-four-years activity: It’s all the time.”
Although it’s not a presidential election year, the midterm elections could shake up the state Legislature and Congress.
For the first time in 25 years, there is a Democrat running for every Texas congressional race in this year’s election. Eight Texas representatives will leave the U.S House before the next term, leaving the opportunity for new faces.
The opening in the U.S. House allows for more representation through voting and votes for this year’s election.
Rockwall sophomore Ali Barnett said voting is an action that speaks louder than personal opinion and words.
Barnett said she will be voting in the primary election Tuesday and that her vote will determine the changes of the future of politics.
“I think, for everyone, voting means voicing your opinion and standing up for what you believe in,” Barnett said. “It’s important because we vote for what we will be living with and the aftermath of whoever gets voted.”
Dr. Ann Ward, professor of political science, believes the exposure of politics for students is vital not only for Election Day, but also to the importance of being politically active as a student.
Ward said the results of Tuesday’s election as well as general election can be drastically determined by the number of votes by young adults.
“Elected officials formulate policies that they believe will appeal to voters in both primary and general elections,” Ward said. “It is a common belief among both political scientists and political practitioners that younger voters typically do not show up at the polls in the same numbers that older voters do and thus practitioners especially tend to believe it is safe for them and even to their political benefit to ignore the interests and concerns of the youth in favor of the more mature voters, to the extent that they differ.”
Along with many students voting, Ward said she believes it is important to take advantage of the opportunity to vote as a college student.
“In order to change this perception and to ensure government actions and policies that address the concerns of youth or embody their conception of the good, it is imperative that younger voters participate in high numbers on election day,” Ward said.