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Opinion: Future of Texas in hands of young voters

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Gracie Spencer

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Election time is here, with signs and stickers proclaiming alliance to Cruz and O’Rourke scattered across countless lawns and cars, and people are turning out in hordes. Early voting started on October 22, and ends November 2, but the official election day is on November 6. The senatorial candidates have now debated twice, sparking debates between individuals

If you go to any local voting poll across the country, most everyone there looks like they could be one of your grandparents. Overwhelmingly across the United States, especially in Texas, young voter turnout is almost dangerously low on both sides of the political spectrum. There seems to be a prevailing idea that the individual young vote doesn’t matter, and it’s hurting the results of elections by only representing the older vote.

When the representatives do not match the citizens, then the legislation doesn’t match what the citizens want.”

While most students are not yet old enough to vote in high school, a good portion of our seniors have turned 18, yet have decided to either not vote or not register all together. The more students who don’t use their voice, the less young people have the opportunity to use their voice. Elections like this one often get overlooked by youth and young adults due to the fact that it’s not a presidential election, but the representatives being voted on actually have the possibility to make more of an impact on our daily lives.

The outcome of this election has the possibility to flip the senate from a majority of republican seats to a democratic majority. The switch of a republican senator to a democratic senator in Texas has not happened since 1975, but the surge of young, and old, voters for O’Rourke show the possibility of a democratic Texas senator again.

O’Rourke and Cruz have debated twice during this election season, both to mixed reactions. Immigration and guns both were major contention points during the first debate on September 21, right here in the DFW area. O’Rourke stayed true to his belief that dreamers should have a path to citizenship, but Cruz is adamantly against giving rights to any dreamers, young people who were brought to the country illegally as children, claiming that O’Rourke is “fighting for illegal immigrants”. Cruz also has stayed true to not supporting any kind of gun regulation, much to the criticism of O’Rourke. “Thoughts and prayers, Sen. Cruz, are just not gonna cut it anymore,” O’Rourke said, calling for actual “action” for “the children of Texas”. After the debate, however, the polls stayed close, in a nearly even split.

After the second debate, however, O’Rourke took more of an offensive approach, claiming that President Trump’s electoral nickname, “Lyin’ Ted”, is “true”, due to how “dishonest” the current senator has been. More than anything, though, the second debate simply reaffirmed the candidates’ main arguments. Cruz continued to push for a continued republican Texas, valuing the way Texas currently is running under his leadership, while O’Rourke advocated for a more revisionist perspective of working towards legislative change.

While there was supposed to be a third debate, it was cancelled amid the chaos of the decision on whether or not to appoint Judge Kavanaugh. There were plans to reschedule the debate, but it ultimately never was.

Now that early voting is open, it is imperative that the young population in Texas votes. In Texas, and in all states, there is a trend of younger citizens voting more democratically. The lack of young voters at polls leads to the votes being skewed in a republican direction more often than not. While this isn’t always the case, and certainly not all young people vote democratically, the lack of representation from the eighteen to thirty year old population is one of the leading causes of unrest when it comes to legislative decisions.

When the representatives do not match the citizens, then the legislation doesn’t match what the citizens want. This is why it is so important if you are of age to vote to complete your civic duty and vote, whether through mail or at one of the many polls around the DFW area. It may not be a presidential election, but there is a possibility for radical change in Texas. The input of new voters on if they want this change or not is essential. Go vote today!

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Gracie Spencer, Staff Reporter

I'm a senior and this is my first year on the newspaper staff. This year I want to write articles over politics and general new happenings in the school....

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Opinion: Future of Texas in hands of young voters