Red Raiders sign up to vote

From the left to the right, Gabriella Lopez a first year psychology student from San Antonio and Pablo Esquivel a second year construction engineering student from Dallas register to vote. A table is set up at the Beto O’Rourke campaign rally for attendees to register to vote at the Frazier Alumni Pavilion Oct. 11, 2022.

Today, Oct. 11, is the last day to register to vote in Texas. Texas Tech students, faculty and staff must register to vote in order to participate in the election on Nov. 8th or early voting on Oct. 24th.

There are currently 187,044 registered voters in Lubbock County.

Ellie Mae Fisher, the president of the NAACP from San Jose, California, said Texas is the earliest state to register to vote in the United States. The NAACP encourages people to register to vote before the end of today.

“Today is the last day to register to vote and in Texas, you must be permitted to vote in the election,” Fisher said. “So we really ensure people register because a registered voter is a voter who turns out at the election.”

Fisher said the NAACP views voting as an important issue and encourages students to register to vote no matter which party they vote for on the ballot.

“What we really see in the voting in the county is not a Democratic or Republican issue, but really a democracy one,” Fisher said.

Voter registrar Kristy Sanchez said getting registered to vote is so important as it is a way for students and peoples’ voices to be heard and have their opinions spread about the policies and legislations that are in their state.

“I have a lot of people who don't realize that, you know, if you don't vote, you let someone else make choices for you, and it shouldn't be that way,” Sanchez said. “Your own voice is heard so that other people aren't able to make decisions without you.”

Sanchez said there have been a lot of 18-year-olds registering to vote and some youth that are not 18, but will be at the time of voting.

“We have had a lot of young voter turnout for registration,” Sanchez said. “A lot of people don't know that you don't exactly have to be 18 at the time you register to vote as long as you're 18 at the time of the election.”

Kim Gonzalez, the vice chair of the Lubbock County Democratic party, said more young people are getting involved in voting, especially in local elections.

Gonzalez said college students may only be living here for a short while, but their voices and opinions matter on the laws and ordinances that affect Lubbock and the state of Texas.

“If you don't vote in the leadership that you want, that reflects your values, then you're stuck with bills and laws that you don't like,” Gonzalez said. “So, the only way that you can help to get bills and mandates and on the books that reflect what you would like to see happen is to go out and vote for these candidates.”

Jacob Aickareth, a fourth-year honors science and humanities major from Houston, said it’s so hard to register to vote in Texas, but the registrars at Tech are trying to register as many students as possible and get more young voters involved in the election.

“It's one of the challenges that we have,” Aickareth said. “There's the saying that students don't vote or young people don't vote, and we're trying to change that narrative and just register as many students as possible.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Beto O’Rourke, said it’s important for college students to vote because in history, young people have won with their votes and making their own decisions on their leaders.

“My faith is in the young people here not to be the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders right now of this moment, meeting this with the urgency that it demands,” O’Rourke said.

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