Be prepared for the voting experience

AB Boyd | Cartoonist

If you have been on any form of social media at all in the past month or so, you have probably been bombarded with countless reminders to get registered to vote. With the election coming up next month, it is important to know exactly what the voting process will look like for you personally.

Know when you are going to go vote. This is imperative. Write down the date and time you are going to go vote; assuming you will have time to squeeze it into your schedule is a sizable gamble that is not worth the risk if it ends up slipping your mind.

Make a to-do list and put the task of voting at the top. There are no do-overs for voting and you don’t get to join the party late once the polls close. The chance to vote in a presidential election only comes around every four years, so this is not something to let simply fly by under the radar.

Those who are doing mail-in voting, you need to be prepared too. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is approaching fast, and not all states have the same deadline, so make sure you know how long you have to make your request for the state you will be voting in.

Vote early if you can. There are nothing but benefits to getting ahead of the game, especially when you consider the unpredictable situations that life can and will throw at you as a student.

Make an event of going to the polls. Voting is an exciting time, and it is a new experience for so many college students. Bring friends and make a day of it, map out when you will meet up and go to a Vote Center and make sure you know where you are going ahead of time.

As mentioned in more depth in a previous Lariat editorial, there are not any Vote Centers within easy walking distance of campus, which can be frustrating for many students who live on campus.

However, if you are registered to vote in McLennan County but you don’t have a car in Waco, Baylor has provided a way for you to get to a Vote Center by offering rides to a local Vote Center every Tuesday to students who register by 9 a.m. the Monday prior.

2020 is the first election year in which a large portion of Gen-Z will be able to vote, and it is our right, privilege and duty as American citizens to voice our opinions in this way. There is no good reason to avoid voting; every voice is vital when it comes to determining who will serve as our president for the next four years.

The younger generations tend to have a lower voter turnout than older generations. In 2016, only 46.1% of citizens aged 18 to 29 actually voted in the presidential election. This year needs to be different, and we need to beat the stigma and commit to voting.

It can be nerve-racking to vote for the first time, and that is the boat that a lot of students are in this semester. Thankfully, there are tools and websites such as that answer common questions and concerns, as well as provide voters with a sense of what the process looks like ahead of time. You can also view sample ballots prior to voting so you know exactly what your ballot will look like.

Don’t let anxieties or busy schedules get in the way of letting your voice be heard in the 2020 presidential election. There are valuable resources all around to help you understand the voting process and get to a Vote Center, but it is your job to make sure you actually follow through and vote.