Texas is dead last in the nation in voter turnout, according to census data (see in Features), and the problem is even worse among younger Texans — a of college-age Texans made it to the polls in the 2016 presidential election.
When reported in these terms, the problem is clear: We as young people don’t vote. But we should — even in midterm elections. We are the age group who should care the most about the decisions our lawmakers make about our future. Whether you’re worried about the national debt, the social safety net or our national defense, our future depends on who we elect to lead our city, state and nation.
This week is your last chance to make sure you have a voice in your future. To register, reach out to members of , the or for a voter registration form. Each organization has been active in making sure Rice students are registered to vote (see ). Mail your application by Tuesday, Oct. 9, and don’t forget to vote on Nov. 6.
If you’re a U.S. citizen eligible to vote, and you live in Texas — even if you’re just here for school — you’re eligible to vote here, according to the . And this year, Texas is a swing state — upstart Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke is running for Senate, and he’s in a tight race with incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz.
Twenty percent of non-voting young people reported that they simply weren’t interested in casting a ballot in 2016. If you’re in that population, we have a message for you: Get interested, because this time, your voice will be more crucial than ever.