The League of Women Voters, an apolitical group, reviewed websites for every Texas county, and only 43 percent of the websites were found to provide adequate election information. The review criteria were sufficiency, accessible election information, voter ID information, a link to the Secretary of State website and Spanish translation for the website.
Lubbock county had a perfect website rating, according to The League of Women Voters’ website and news release. But, 12 of the 254 Texas counties had no websites, and only 105 counties provided sufficient election and voter ID information.
“I worked on Glen Robertson’s District 19 campaign last semester,” Megan McMillan, a senior marketing major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and president of Tech College Republicans, said. “We did a lot of calling these different places to get information, especially smaller counties.”
Not all Texas Tech students receive adequate election information, McMillan said.
The League of Women Voters’ findings were accurate in District 19, she said. A lot of the counties she interacted with did not have websites or phone numbers that were open at all times. Basic requirements for a good website included information on registering to vote, where to vote, where to vote early, when to vote and operation hours.
An option is available to type in an address to see a map of polling locations and see a sample ballot, according to The League of Women Voters’ website.
Counties near Lubbock tend to be small farming communities that are mostly comprised of older white Republicans, McMillan said. If the counties that did not have a website started providing voters with information, a lot more people would vote.
“(Lubbockites) definitely have a perfect website that’s perfect compared to everywhere else,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of information, you can go, it’ll show you a map of your closest voting locations, it’ll show you where your early voting locations are, you can bring up a sample ballot. You just type in your address. Lubbock is definitely the best in the 19th Congressional District, at least.”
Candidates need to make their own websites explaining their views, McMillan said. County websites are a starting point for voters to research candidates. Counties should be required to provide voters with some information, so they know when and where to vote and who the candidates are, she said.
“I think to know about the candidates themselves and the different issues that they, you know, their viewpoints, the candidates should have their own website also,” said Jennifer Giles, a junior speech, language and hearing sciences major from Houston and the president of the Tech Student Democrats.
She said she helped with a city council election.
“(A good county website) would have information for you to look up your precinct,” Giles said. “I know the Lubbock County website. It shows you a map, and you type in your zip code, and you can see where you live, what precinct you live in. And it’ll tell you like different places that you can go register to vote.”
The Lubbock County website also has early voting dates, the general election for primaries and a list of locations where you can vote, Giles said.
Tech College Republicans is trying to inform college students of its voting options, McMillan said. In-state college students can register to vote in Lubbock instead of their hometowns for local policies that might affect them.
Tech Student Democrats will have a table outside the Student Union Building where voters can register, Giles said.
“The last day to register to vote for this upcoming election is Oct. 11,” she said. “Us and the Tech Student Democrats are having a debate October 4. (Tech Activities Board) is hosting it, and starting next week, we’ll be doing voter registration drives to promote our event up until our student event.”