The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Your vote matters, no matter where you live

Fifty-five days to go.

In less than two months we’ll be rushing to the polls. Or at least those of us who are registered will be standing in lines to hit a button or pull a lever to express our right to choose the leaders of our country.

Most of us are a part of the Millennial generation, and we are potentially the largest block of voters in the history of the United States. That means we have more power over any other age group of voters ever. Like, since 1776 ever.

How crazy! How exciting! How empowering.

I hear friends say all the time, “I’m a Democrat in Texas,” or, “I’m a Republican in California, so my vote doesn’t count.”

And I feel them. I’m the only registered Democrat in my family in Louisiana, and there are two “blue” parishes in the state. I live in neither of them. Therefore, sometimes I feel like my vote doesn’t count either. At least I felt that way until this year.

When you cast your ballot to vote (assuming you’re registered), you’ll notice that there are many boxes that need a check mark. Most people will make it through about half of the ballot. They’ll vote for the president, their senator and congress person, and maybe a couple of people running for local office that they know.

These local elections are where the people hold the power.
Something that has inspired me to educate students about their powers as voters has been my enlightenment to the State Board of Education. This group of 15 individuals decides what goes into Texas’ curricula and textbooks. Although it may not seem like a big deal, these people are deciding everything that students in public schools in Texas will learn.

This year, every seat is up for grabs.

It’s like the planets are aligning for the first time in 1,000 years.

These elections are often close. And the power between the ultra conservatives, the ultra liberals, and the moderates shifts every few years. The citizens of Texas choose this board of people.

However, many don’t know what the State Board of Education is, nor do they make it far enough down the ballot to cast a vote for their representative. And it’s a shame because a few votes in favor of a candidate can literally shape Texas’ educational history forever.

Feeling empowered yet?

I’m willing to bet that you can help shape the history of your own state by participating in these local elections. Simply reading the entire ballot, and of course educating yourself so you can pick the candidate who you truly support, allows you to have a voice in your state’s history. Perhaps you want to vote in Texas. As long as you have a Texas residency, you can register to vote in this state!

Maybe you are a Democrat in a historically red state, or a Republican in a historically blue state, but your voice truly matters at the local level. Changing the political makeup of your local area can then lead to changing the political attitude of your entire state. Then, you seriously have the capability of changing the country.

And that, folks, is our democratic system of voting.

So, if you’re not registered, do it quickly! And when you go vote this November 6th, make it down the ballot. You’ll be changing the world with each box you check.

Graves is a junior majoring in communications studies. He can be reached for comment at [email protected]

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