Why register to vote this year?

We are witnessing one of the most chaotic elections in the nation’s history. The destiny of the country is at stake.

Voting is a right for all qualified U.S. citizens. Many Richland students are going to vote for the first time this year. Only the individual can determine the best candidate, but here’s some perspective on the process.

 According to Kathy Yates, Richland government professor, it’s important to vote for many reasons. “To vote is to use your voice. It’s to say, ‘ I count, I’m important in our political system,’ said Yates. “People have fought and died over centuries to establish that we all have the right to vote. So everybody should vote, and the younger you start voting the more it becomes a habit and the more you will keep voting.”

Election Day, Nov. 8, is getting close. The deadline to register to vote in Texas is Oct. 11. Any U.S. citizen, at least 18 years of age by Election Day, who has a Texas address, no felony convictions and has not been judged incompetent by a court, can register.

The student vote can make a difference. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials (adults ages 18 to 36 in 2016) now equal baby boomers in the number of voters in the United States. At 31 percent, they are tied with baby boomers when it comes to their share of the U.S. electorate. That means, if 18-to 36-year-olds turn out to vote, they will have the power to influence this year’s election.

Yates pointed to one issue of particular importance to students. “If they care about how much tuition they are going to pay next year, go vote. It’s the Legislature that sets the rules on how this is done. It’s our elected board [DCCCD] that sets them within this district. All state universities, UT Austin, UNT, etc … they now set their own tuition, but they get to do so because the Legislature lets them. The Legislature can also take that power away. If they [students] care about how much it costs to go to college, vote,” she said.

You can register in person, or download the online form at http://www.dallascountyvotes.org/voter-information/register-to-vote.
Print it, fill it out and mail it in. All forms must be received by Oct. 11. Early voting in Texas begins Oct. 24.