Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Go out and vote: the right and responsibility

Maddox Nite

As 2024 is a presidential election year, the poll locations will face heavy traffic, with some in attendance voting for the first time. For those of voting age, the primary election for the 13th congressional district of Texas will be March 5. Early voting opened on Feb. 20.

All adult citizens, young, old, and everything in between, have the right and necessity to make their voices heard; especially students.

“It’s important for everyone to go out and vote, but definitely students,” Dr. John David Rausch, Teel Bivins professor of political science, said. “The challenge you might have as a student, though, is knowing where to vote. If you’re in Randall County it’s really easy to vote. You just go across the street to the Justice Center. If you live in Potter [County], well, you have to vote at one of the centers around Amarillo.”

The voting process may be overwhelming, but voters have a responsibility to cast their ballot, according to West Texas A&M University’s student body president.

“We want to make informed voting decisions,” Filiberto Avila, a senior and student body president, said. “As a U.S. citizen, you have this right that not so many people get to enjoy; I highly believe you must get informed and also act on what you learned. But I would highly encourage students not to feel discouraged. They don’t have to be experts in political science.”

For students who are not from the Panhandle and are not sure how to cast their vote, Dr. Rausch explained the options.

“You [students] can still vote absentee,” Rausch said “But that adds an extra layer of complexity. Some states have various requirements, [such as] if you had to live in an area for a certain amount of time. You have to get a ballot, and you have to know where to mail it. Which requires a phone call to your election person.”

Besides state and federal elections, students at WT also have the right to cast their ballots in student government elections.

“Student government voting elections usually happen in March or April, for spring elections,” Avila said. “This year, that happens to fall in April, and they will be advertised through the SGA [Student Government Association] official social media accounts. It’s a very simple process; you just show up to the table, show us your Buff ID, and vote. Simple as that.”

The student turnout for SGA voting isn’t consistent, according to Avila.

“We keep statistics for voting that happens during the spring and fall elections,” Avila said. “Homecoming is our most popular election period. We have gotten over 1000 votes in homecoming for the last two years. So I think that builds on that sense of if we can do it [voting] here in this safe area, it helps build that confidence to vote later on.”

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About the Contributor
Maddox Nite
Maddox Nite, Multimedia Reporter
Hello! My name is Maddox Nite. I am freshman majoring in digital communication and media with a minor in creative writing from Amarillo, Texas. And after graduation I hope to move someplace new and write for a newspaper. I love books, video games, lifting, and performing in shows at the Amarillo Little Theatre. I am very proud and grateful to be the Campus News Multimedia Reporter at TPN this year, and I can’t wait for more years to come!

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