Students cast votes early: midterm elections under way

By Nancy Benet

Midterm elections are expected to draw big crowds on Tuesday, Nov. 6, but students at the University of the Incarnate Word have already started voicing their choices through early voting.

Texas has several important statewide races in the upcoming ballot, such as the race for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and several state Supreme Court justices.

The U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Ted Cruz has received much national attention with the emergence of Congressman Beto O’Rourke as the Democratic contender. That race has especially gotten the attention of many young adults who are first- or second-time voters. Not only is it considered a extremely close race between a Republican and a Democratic candidate in a red state, but because no Democrat has won a statewide election in Texas since 1994.

Cruz and O’Rourke have had a couple of debates with one another in the past few months, one of which took place on a college campus, Southern Methodist University. One of the other debates that took place this month was in San Antonio.

UIW biology major Victoria Hermosillo said her strategy on the midterm elections to “try to stay informed by watching a lot of interviews and keeping up with debates to see how each candidate does, and what their stances are. I also try to make sure I fact-check everything to assure that I am not reading any biased columns, and discuss different candidates with friends that are also politically active and informed.”

The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability provided rides Oct. 22-24 for students to participate in early voting. Early voting ends Friday, Nov. 2.

“Voting is the backbone of our democracy,” Paulina Garcia, a criminal justice major, said. “By not voting in local, state and federal elections, we are telling our elected officials they can do what they want with no accountability whatsoever. It is an opportunity for our voice to be heard at a higher level as well as an opportunity to change our country for the better.”

Hermosillo said one of the reasons this election is so important for college students to participate in is because the policies these candidates will implement once they are in office will affect young adults greatly after graduation.

“The laws that are passed after this election will affect us on a more personal level once we start paying for our own insurance, taxes, and many other things,” Hermosillo said. “Many students talk about change, but that change will only happen if we actually go out there and vote. The only way that things will change is if we vote for the right people. We cannot keep complaining about certain situations and not try to do anything about it.”

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