The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Texas Rising at SEU hosts voter registration drive, educates students on upcoming election

Ariel Harper / Hilltop Views
In the fall spirit, Texas Rising offers treats for students interested in voter registration.

Around 15% of voting-age Americans are college students, however, college-aged voters consistently have the lowest voter turnout in both Texas and the U.S.. Given this, many organizations around the country are dedicated to educating college students on the importance of voting, as well as assisting them with many of the issues that prevent young adults from making it to the polls. 

Texas Rising is an organization dedicated to fostering “a movement for equality and social justice in Texas.” Recently, SEU’s chapter of Texas Rising set up a voter registration drive on campus to educate students on the importance of voting in November’s upcoming election. The ballot contains 14 proposed amendments to the Texas constitution, such as a potential amendment prohibiting the imposition of a wealth tax. 

“It is much more difficult to get students to vote (in) these types of elections, as they are seen as less interesting and don’t receive enough coverage by the media,” SEU student and Texas Rising member Cindy Cueller said.

Student interest isn’t the only obstacle preventing voting on campus. The Texas Rising at SEU members spoke on the difficulty of trying to establish an early polling location on campus. These locations have been previously provided at St. Edward’s, though they are currently being met with resistance from campus administrators. 

Cueller and Texas Rising regional coordinator Mel Leblanc recounted how St. Edward’s administration determined that they could not shut down the Alumni gym for the time it would take to establish an early voting location. They were told that “students could access polling locations outside of campus,” using public transportation if necessary for those students without vehicles. However, Leblanc points out that the nearest polling station is over two miles away, without direct public transportation. 

“The reasons the administration has given us are typical of voter suppression, it is sad to see that happening on campus,” Cueller said. 

These accessibility issues make the prospect of early voting very difficult for students without reliable transportation, or for those who are unable to walk from the bus stop to the polls. This is why accessible early voting locations are part of Texas Rising at SEU’s mission on campus. 

The chapter has worked to stimulate student interest in this upcoming election. However, they are being met with common obstacles. Long wait times and difficulty accessing polling locations are among the most common reasons why many Americans don’t vote. 

Along with the lack of information on voter registration and local elections, these factors present a challenging issue for voters and voters’ rights organizations. While Texas Rising at SEU continues to advocate for election education on our campus, they are certainly not without their obstacles on both the university level and nationwide. 

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