Texas Bill Would Prohibit Polling Places At College- Is It a Good Idea?
Texas House Representative Carrie Isaac has filed HB 2390, "relating to prohibiting the designation of polling place locations on the campuses of institutions of higher education." But what is the reasoning?
Like many other people, the first time I ever voted was on my college campus (wreck'em Tech!), and I absolutely love to hear young people get excited for their first time voting. It's as American as it gets, and I honestly feel that it is all of our collective duty to vote, whether it be for president, a representative, an issue, or just a local bond election.
However, last year only 25% of eligible voters under 30 actually did vote, according to the Houston Chronicle, which explores theories as to why they didn't show up. One theory is that Texas will not accept student IDs as valid identification for voting purposes. I think it was simply a lack of energy and enthusiasm on both sides.
Shouldn't we be encouraging younger people to participate in the democratic process? They'll have to deal with the consequences longer than anyone else, you'd think their say should be just as important. So why does Rep. Carrie Isaac want to keep polling off campus?
According to KBTX Austin, she claims it's a "safety issue" because it will bring non-students onto campus to vote. Huh? Last year I voted early at the grocery store like any other sensible adult.
I also walked the grounds of my alma mater just a couple of weeks ago, simply to reminisce and enjoy the nice day. Texas Tech has a sprawling campus with many large public artworks outside. I went into the library just to see it again. That was all allowed. In fact, thousands of non-students are on TTU campus every year, because football exists. Additionally, this bill makes no mention of banning polling places at high schools or elementary schools, so her reasoning just doesn't hold any water.
In my opinion, her reasoning is at best flawed, at worst an attempt to further limit how much young people vote. This blows my mind, as there are plenty of young Republicans in Texas. Instead, I believe she should work on firing up her base and giving young people a reason to vote for her- on campus.
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