WT Students have mixed feelings about voting

Early voting started on Oct. 24 and Texas voters are heading out to the polls. However, upon speaking to many West Texas A&M University students, they have different thoughts and opinions about voting. While some students are adamant about voting and expressing their voice, others choose to not vote at all.

“If you are registered to vote, you should vote in every election. This is because the only way your voice is heard is when you vote,” said Sonya Letson, president of League of Women Voters Amarillo. “Politicians pay attention to the people who vote and your voices if you’re not voting are not being heard. Voting is how you express your opinion about how things should go.”

With voting comes changes. As the newest members of our democracy, college students have the power to choose and vote for future policies.

“Elections are vitally important especially for people in my generation to express our voices,” said Tucker Gattis, senior agriculture major. “Too often, young voters can be overpowered or overshadowed in the political advertising areas or the public arena. Voting is our way to get our voices heard and that’s vitally important this November.”

Just like Gattis, Jaime Ratford believes that voting is important in order to get one’s voice heard.

“I think the election is very important for the future of young, independent voters,” said Radford, junior biology major. “And I think it’s important for students to educate themselves.”

Addison Hickson is unsure about voting as she has not had the chance to educate herself about the Nov. 8 election.

“I don’t have a problem with voting. I just feel like, if I don’t know enough information on it, I’m not going to vote,” said Hickson, senior nursing major. “I also don’t take the time to know the information. I feel like the last time I voted, I went off of what my family wanted me to do.”

Similarly, Meredith Hesltine feels that the act of voting and expressing one’s opinion can cause conflict.

“I will vote who I am going to vote for and all that. But I don’t necessarily like getting into the, like, I want to hear big arguments and debates, because I feel like they’re yelling at each other for no reason,” said Heseltine, junior elementary education major. “And it’s like, ‘can we please just find a common ground?’”

On the other hand, Jacob Toon avoids voting entirely.

“I don’t pay that much attention to politics. I don’t ever vote. It brings a lot of hatred. So I don’t like it,” said Toon, senior digital media and communications major.  “I don’t vote.”

Regardless of how one feels about voting, it is important to know the resources available to educate yourself about the election. The League of Women Voters Amarillo provided voter guides all over campus and Canyon. Upon scanning the QR code on the voters guide, students can access an interactive version of the guide.

“There are so many important issues that are going to be decided in the upcoming Texas Legislative session,” Letson said. “So, it’s so important for you to choose candidates, and that’s how the voters guide helps you read what they say, decide who you want to vote for because they’re going to be making laws that affect your life.”

For more information about how to get registered to vote in Texas, go to https://www.votetexas.gov/