WTAMU First-Time Voters

“Voting is important because it is an opportunity for your voice to be heard. If we want change, then we have to be willing to take charge and do our part as a citizen,” said Hayley Hurst, junior musical theatre major.

In less than one month from now, the 2020 presidential election will come and go. The result? We’ll see in the coming weeks, but for now, we asked students about the upcoming election.

For many, this will be the first presidential election that they’re able to vote in. As Americans, we have to participate in local and federal elections to decide who we want to represent us. This democracy is built on the election process and democratically elected turnouts. For some, the responsibility surrounding voting can be somewhat confusing. Will my voice be heard? Will my vote even count? All are valid concerns, but by not voting, politicians won’t hear your voice. Remember, they need your vote, not the other way around.

But first, before hitting the poles, do your research. Which candidate suits yours or your family’s needs over the other? We at The Prairie News have our own opinions and would never attempt to sway or advocate towards a specific candidate. That decision is up to you, and you alone. Here to share their first upcoming election are West Texas A&M University students just like you.

First, we have junior broadcast journalism major Hannah Franklin, who will be voting in person this year. We asked Franklin what made her want to vote in this election.

“I believe that it is a privilege to vote and have my voice heard,” Franklin said. “Having the ability to vote is playing a role in influencing change in society, which is very important.”

While this election regards the presidency, local and state elections take place more frequently.

“…exercising your right to vote will influence the future,” Franklin said.

Next up at the booths is junior advertising/public relations major Mallory Grimm. Like Franklin, Grimm will also vote in person.

“I wanted to vote because it’s important to exercise my right to participate in democracy,” Grimm said. “Every vote counts, and I know my vote will go towards the change I want to see in our country.”

Students seem to understand the gravity surrounding voting. If you want change, vote for the change, you want to see.

Grimm will “100% vote in future elections.”

Following in line is junior early childhood through 6th grade certification education major Juliet Valdez.

We seem to have a trend with in person voting, with which Valdez will also participate. When asked on the reasoning for voting first-time, Valdez had this to say, “Some of my family members can’t vote, so me being able to have a voice for them is really important to me,” Valdez said. “I want to participate in voting for this election also for myself, for the experience since this is my first time.”

Valdez continued, “I feel like I’m given this power to participate in such a big election, and my vote is counted on by many.”

Valdez will continue to vote “for the rest of my life. It is my civil duty, and it’s the least I can do for what America has done for me.”

Closing the polls, we have junior biology pre-medicine major Joel Fernandez. Where will he be voting? You guessed it, in person.

“Being able to vote and having the power to actually participate in my government made me want to vote,” said Fernandez “I will vote in the future.”

These are just a few examples of first-time voters. Countless others will be taking their futures into their own hands come November. Remember, be knowledgeable and open. Do research, and vote according to your beliefs. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into voting for what’s “popular.” Good luck to all of our first-time voters, and we’ll see you at the polls.


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