Staff Editorial: It is imperative everybody of age votes


Emma Short

It is imperative that everybody of age vote in the midterm elections, either on Election Day on Nov. 8 or choosing the early voting route by Nov. 4.


As the midterm Election Day approaches on Nov. 8, and early voting has been in place since Oct. 24, some students will be able to exercise their right to democracy and vote for the first time. While some individuals have been researching and preparing for the time to come, others are not planning on using this privilege. It is imperative that everybody, either the age of 18 or above, exercises their ability to vote in the upcoming state midterm elections and campaigns to follow. 

Young voters account for half of the voting population, yet are less likely to vote than older generations. The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement notes that 18 and 19-year-olds remained behind in the 2018 midterm registrations in comparison to other age groups. Only nine states have had the number of young voters surpass the statistic from the 2018 midterms. As of the second week of September, Texas showed 6% fewer registrations than in November 2018, which emphasizes that the number of young voters are gradually decreasing as years go by. 

NBC exit polls from the 2020 presidential election suggest 65% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 voted for the winning candidate, Joe Biden. Generation Z could have the largest say in political leaders being elected if they simply show up and vote. The surprising turnout among young voters was crucial in determining the results of the 2018 congressional and 2020 presidential elections. 

Many key issues in the policies candidates include within their campaigns directly affect the younger generation. All students worry to some degree about affording college, reproductive rights, affirmative action when entering the workplace or simply affording gas, housing and other necessities after graduating. Students need to use this passion in them to enact change through electing officials that stand to fight for their issues. National events like the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade,  the Jan. 6 committee hearings and more legislative action within Congress should push younger adults to feel motivated to fight for their voice to be heard and have a say in which political leaders represent them. Even students who are not of legal age to vote must begin researching and recognizing what political issues affect them now and will possibly create obstacles for their future so these young individuals will be properly educated when the time arises to cast their respective ballots. 

The term “every vote counts” gets thrown around far too much to the point where many Americans are numb to it, but it is nothing but the truth. There have been more than 15 elections decided by a single vote, or just a few more. 

It is now easier than ever to vote. Gen-Z has internet access that none of the previous generations had, making it possible to research the candidates with the click of a button before entering the voting booth. To be eligible to vote, American citizens are required to register with their state’s government, which can be either completed on paper and mailed in or done in person. Texas citizens can check their registration status online if they are unsure. That is one step an American citizen has to complete to be able to vote. It’s as simple as that. Once a voter is registered, they do not get removed until they move locations or fail to vote in multiple consecutive elections. 

Some adults of age do not use their vote because they see themselves as completely neutral to either political party. If this is the case, these individuals need to vote for independent candidates. Voters need to obtain their own research and determine which candidate best fits their needs and advocates for causes that positively affect them, their age group, their economic status, their morals and interests. There may be certain candidates these impartial citizens feel strongly should not be in office – if anything, their vote can prevent those people from making it in office, rather than not voting at all, to prevent their election.

Everybody, including 18-year-olds, needs to exercise their right to vote in this election and conduct research on the two primary candidates for Texas governor beforehand. Democracy is a privilege and continuously complaining about policies changes nothing without a vote. Voters using their voice at the ballot box is a way of honoring the generations before them who fought for voting rights years ago. Citizens can not expect their needs to be met if they do not use the platform handing them a voice. Local early voting can be done anywhere in Denton County, but specific voting locations must be used if Texan voters decide to cast their ballot on Election Day. Now, get to the voting booths.