Student voting participation vital to maintaining democracy

Millennials+and+members+of+Gen+Z+will+be+the+largest+share+of+eligible+voters+in+2020%2C+according+to+Pew+Research+Center.+This+makes+them+a+vital+force+in+the+upcoming+election.
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Student voting participation vital to maintaining democracy

Millennials and members of Gen Z will be the largest share of eligible voters in 2020, according to Pew Research Center. This makes them a vital force in the upcoming election.

Millennials and members of Gen Z will be the largest share of eligible voters in 2020, according to Pew Research Center. This makes them a vital force in the upcoming election.

WHIT JAMES / HILLTOP VIEWS

Millennials and members of Gen Z will be the largest share of eligible voters in 2020, according to Pew Research Center. This makes them a vital force in the upcoming election.

WHIT JAMES / HILLTOP VIEWS

WHIT JAMES / HILLTOP VIEWS

Millennials and members of Gen Z will be the largest share of eligible voters in 2020, according to Pew Research Center. This makes them a vital force in the upcoming election.

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Local election season is approaching and the voting spirit is in the air. Organizations have come to campus to help students register to vote. 

Voter Registration Day was on Sept. 25. Many students stopped by the MOVE table to register to vote. Stationed under the shade by the sidewalk on Ragsdale lawn, this table was staffed by student volunteers. MOVE is an organization dedicated to raising the number of registered voters. The volunteers educated students about voting and getting registered in the easiest way possible. 

Samantha Ramirez is a senior at St. Edwards and MOVE volunteer.

“MOVE is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that serves to encourage civic engagement, especially amongst the youth vote,” Ramirez said.  She believes that it is important for the youth to have their voices heard. 

“Our participation in voting has been the least, and our representation is not matching our interests because of this,” Ramirez added. So who do politicians listen to right now? What interests are being represented?

According to FollowTheMoney.org, Texas Governor Greg Abbott raised over $71 million during his re-election campaign in 2018. Donors were primarily from oil and gas businesses as well as real estate. This is a near 50% increase from the 2014 elections, wherein Abbot received a mere $44 million in campaign contributions. Perhaps some of this money is backed by individuals who care about the youth, but most of these contributions are for the purpose of increasing the bottom line for corporate America. 

Riverside is planning on rezoning student housing developments. Councilman Sabino Renteria of District 3 D-3has received over $17,000 in recent years from Presidium Group, a property management company involved in the development plans for  Riverside and rezoning efforts. With cases like these, it is clear that the youth’s interests are not being represented in the city of Austin, let alone the national level. Money cannot be removed from politics if the youth vote isn’t involved. 

There are propositions on this approaching vote on Nov. 5 that may interest  St. Edward’s students. According to VoteTexas.gov, Proposition 5 would move revenue from state sales taxes on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission. Proposition 6 focuses on increasing the bond given to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) from $3 billion to $6 billion. 

This money goes to cancer research and prevention efforts. Proposition 10 is the most adorable proposition. It would allow state agencies to transfer an animal used by law enforcement to their handler. As of right now, the state is not allowed to give these animals to their handlers after the animal retires at no cost. The deadline to register to vote in this election is Oct. 7. You can find out more on how to register online at VoteTexas.org.

There is a real danger in approaching the 2020 election from a social media angle. Many want their voices heard this election season and everyone should feel the power of representation that voting provides. Instead of being an active retweeter, get involved in your candidate’s local ground game. Volunteer your time if you can by making phone calls or canvassing door-to-door. The most important thing is to register to vote and to vote.