North Texas Daily

Is the government stifling young generations’ access to vote?

Is the government stifling young generations’ access to vote?

Is the government stifling young generations’ access to vote?
October 25
01:02 2018

Society encourages us, as today’s youth, to get involved in real-world issues and make our voice heard on the ballot. But can the same desires be said for the government?

There are polling locations on the UNT campus only for Election Day but not for early voting. I automatically assumed voting would take place on campus because it was the most logical scenario, considering a large population of students don’t have cars and live on-campus. Apparently UNT doesn’t think the same.

We’re given a pat on the back when we take a stance on anything political, but God forbid we actually do something about it. Why don’t some universities offer on-campus early voting? Maybe it’s because they can’t afford it. Public universities, though technically considered a private sector institution, are either associated with or owned by the state government. Yet it is none other than the federal government who provide the most funds for these universities through Pell Grants.

Taking this into consideration, the state of Texas is a state that’s been red for decades. According to MTV and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, the young generation of voters are paying more attention to politics after President Trump’s election, with 72 percent of the 1,027 15-34-year-olds polled not believing that the president aligns with their values.

Thus, the public sees college students leaning more toward a liberal point of view. With this being said, why would a Republican state with Republican-led funding make it easier for “left-wing” college students to cast their votes?

Instead of inspiring America’s youth to fulfill their duties in a democracy, these institutions are creating unspoken provisions making it harder for students to get to a voting booth because they have to keep “the boss” happy.

The stereotype of all college students belonging to a left-wing liberal agenda is outdated and not credible. I don’t believe individuals should forcibly be labeled “conservative” or “liberal” because of their specific beliefs — sometimes it’s just about being human. Not everything has to fit into a box, and the refusal to accept this notion is what causes this bias toward millennials on college campuses.

In the past, the percentage of youth voting

has been as low as 32 percent. Maybe this contributes to why universities wouldn’t bother trying to get polling locations on-campus. They don’t expect us to follow through.

Sure we say we believe one thing, but are we physically going to show up and vote?

Large institutions don’t think so.

This is our chance to prove them wrong. The lack of voting locations on campus shouldn’t discourage you from casting your vote. There are numerous ways to get to voting locations if you don’t have a car. There are websites and voting carpooling available for students on-campus, so there is no excuse.

These midterms are different than those in the past. Young people are more aware of the issues in politics because it’s starting to affect our daily lives. Don’t let them silence you — let them hear your voice like never before.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Angelina Oliva

Angelina Oliva

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2 Comments

  1. Sean Hiatt
    Sean Hiatt October 25, 10:16

    I know this article means well but when when it comes down to choosing early voting locations, election officials have to think about more than just NT students. While a site at the NT campus is great for NT students, it’s an awful location for everyone else because of the current NT parking policies.

    Reply to this comment
  2. JD
    JD October 29, 14:21

    I agree with Mr. Hiatt on all points. I will state that this article jogged my memory of when I was a student in the 80’s early/90’s and don’t ever remember early voting taking place on campus, and the issues of the day affected our daily lives just as much as they do now. It is not about silencing students, but about how to make voting easier for everyone. Guess what? That is an impossible task. These article reeks of the attitude that if it isn’t dropped in our lap, then it is just too hard to do.

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