Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and International Business Darren Grant explains what students should know about voting.
It is important for students to know how to register to vote, when they may vote and where they may vote, according to Grant. However, it is also important to note that registration deadline has passed for this November’s election.
Another vital piece of information is that students know where they are registered.
“If you are registered to vote in Montgomery County, such as the Woodlands, then you cannot vote in Huntsville,” Grant said.
Students should also know when they may vote and where they may vote. According to Grant, the ‘when’ and ‘where’ go together because it really depends on whether you are going to vote early or on election day,” Grant said.
Early voting is open for two weeks starting Oct. 22 and ending on Nov. 2 at the Walker County Annex from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“They have occasional evening hours, so it’s longer than 8 to 5 some days,” Grant said.
Everyone registered in Walker County can vote at the Walker County Annex during early voting. It is located three blocks away from the SHSU campus.
From the corner of Old Main, up University Avenue three blocks north and on the left will be the Walker County Annex.
“The lines aren’t probably going to be very long,” Grant said. “You could possibly, in twenty minutes, walk down there, vote, walk back”.
Students that have breaks between classes may use this time to vote.
“Most students have a little break between classes at some point during the day, so that will usually be an hour or an hour and a half that should be plenty of time to pop down their vote and come back,” Grant said.
Things are different for students that want to vote on Election Day. The when and where for election time is more complicated, according to Grant.
“You vote by precinct, and so people will be in different precincts depending on where they live,” Grant said. “Each precinct has its own voting location so on election day you have to know what your precinct is, you have to know where the poll is for that precinct, then that they are open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.”
Students should also be aware of what forms of identification are permitted when they go to vote.
“The last thing you need to know is about ID’s because you need an ID to go vote,” Grant said. “A driver’s license is fine, a passport is fine, but your student ID is not fine.”
Grant provided a personal reason as to why students voting in elections is important to him.
“When I first came to Texas in 2001, the tuition was so low, that not that many people had student loans,” Grant said. “Over the next five years or so the legislature of Texas made a choice they were going to put less tax money in universities and they were going to raise tuition, once the universities were able to raise tuition, you can guess what happened.”
Grant believes that students should be expressing their voice through voting.
“Year after year I have watched students not vote,” Grant said. “Year after year I think to myself why do you put up with this? Vote.”
The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement indicates that several SHSU students registered to vote in the last mid-term election but many of them did not vote.
“That report says that of Sam students aged 18-22, seven percent of them voted in the 2014 mid-term election,” Grant said. “Lots of them registered but only a few showed up to vote.”
Grant believes that when it comes down to voting, students should just do it.
For information about Early Voting and Election Day Voting hours and locations visit http:// http://www.co.walker.tx.us/ and select “Current Election.”