The Sam Houston State University Student Government Association hosted an event called “March to the Polls” on Nov. 3. During the event, representatives from several student organizations unified to walk to the Walker County Annex together and vote in the 2020 presidential election.
Sophomore mass communication major, College of Arts and Media Caucus Chair and PR Media Relations Chair for SGA Jesus Martinez said the goal of the event is to encourage young people to vote.
“We want to bring awareness to voting and have college students take voting seriously since there are issues of importance that will affect our future,” Martinez said.
This election has been a big one for young voters, a group that has traditionally not voted as often as older citizens. In fact, in the state of Texas alone, more than 1.3 million voters under the age of 30 had voted by the end of the early voting period, according to The Texas Observer. This is more than the total number of ballots cast by this age group in the state in 2016.
Martinez said he believes that young people voting gives them more knowledge and power.
“It is significant that young people are encouraged to vote because many college students at the moment get to vote for the first time, while for others, it is their second or third time around,” Martinez said. “By encouraging young people to vote, it brings a sense of power to young voters and gives college students a sense of how our democracy works.”
This year’s event had a smaller turnout than normal, an occurrence that Martinez said SGA contributes to several factors.
“We feel that this year’s event had lower outcome than previous years, but we still had a good turn out,” Martinez said. “We think the low turnout was due to people either voting early, by mail or they voted back home, where they are currently taking online classes at.”
More information about SGA and their upcoming events can be found at https://www.shsu.edu/dept/dean-of-students/organizations/sga/index.html.