Early voting begins, polls open near campus

Although the General Election takes place on Nov. 8, citizens can vote early at select locations in Waco. Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

By Brooke Bentley | Reporter

Early voting has begun in Texas and the polls are coming to life, but many students still remain unaware of how the voting process works and consider voting a hassle.

Local officials such as Mary Mann, president of the Texas Democratic Women of Central Texas, seek to show students just how easy the process can be.

The first step is to be informed, Mann said.

“If students are already registered in McLennan County, they can go ahead and vote any time between now and Nov. 4,” she said. “Otherwise, students can still request an absentee ballot for their home county by mail until Oct. 28 and fill that out, but it has to be received by their home county’s office no later than 7 p.m. on Nov. 8.”

The early voting process in Texas began Oct. 24 and ends Nov. 4. Any student who is already registered to vote in McLennan County can go to the polls and vote at any early voting location in McLennan County until Nov. 4.

Baylor’s student political organizations also want to encourage students to have their voices heard in this election.

“It is important for students to vote so their voice is not only heard, but so that they then will have the right to complain about the issues they care about,” said Longview senior Marivious Allen, the Baylor College Republicans co-chairman. “Students are very open to disagree with a wide range of issues but will not always act to change them.”

Voters must present a valid photo ID at the polling location. Baylor student IDs do not count as one of these valid forms of identification, but students may provide their Texas driver’s license, a U.S. passport, a Texas election identification certificate or other forms of identification listed on votetexas.gov.

A list of early voting poll locations can be found on the McLennan County website; the closest location to campus is Early Voting Location No. 5 in the basement of the McLennan County Records Building Suite 300.

“Millenials are now the biggest voting block, and we have the power to change the election,” Allen said. “Hopefully, students will realize sitting at home is simply not an option come Nov. 8.”

Students can take the Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH), which serves the downtown Waco area and Baylor campus, from campus directly to this polling location. The DASH route map and bus tracker can be found at bushuttle.com.

Early Voting Location No. 5 will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday through Friday this week and will be open 7 a.m to 7 p.m. Saturday. A complete list of hours for all local early voting polls in Waco can be found at votetexas.gov.