To vote or not to vote

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    Junior strategic communication major Megan Swisher registered to vote in the Oklahoma midterm elections and planned on submitting her absentee ballot by the end of the week. Like Swisher, many university students live outside of the local Tarrant County voting district.

    However, filling out an absentee ballot for the midterm elections could have been an option as long as students planned ahead, said Joanne Green, associate professor for political science.

    The deadline to register for absentee ballots has passed in most states, she said.

    Absentee ballot applications were due Oct. 26 for Texas voters, according to longdistancevoter.com.

    Completed absentee ballots for Texas must be received by the time polls close on election day Nov. 2, according to longdistancevoter.com.

    Green said that if students wanted to vote in the midterm elections there were other options if they did not submit absentee ballots. Students could return to their local voting districts on Election Day or during early voting periods to cast their votes.

    Tim Cason, a sophomore communication studies major from Early, Texas, said he received an absentee ballot from his mom in the mail.

    Cason completed the ballot and planned on mailing in his ballot in time for Election Day, he said.

    “It’s always important to vote because you can express your opinion and have an influence on the government that is taking care of us,” he said.

    Swisher, on the other hand, received her absentee registration form during her sorority’s chapter meeting, she said.

    A member of her sorority invited chapter members to participate in a competition between other universities to see which school could register the most students, she said. A majority of the members in her sorority registered that way.

    Swisher said she would have registered even if she were not encouraged to by her chapter.

    “I still want to be able to have a say,” she said.

    Voting has allowed her to remain current on the issues of her hometown and voice her opinion in local politics because it forces her to continue to follow the news from her hometown, she said.

    Junior engineering major J.B. Litterer, however, said he did not plan on voting because he did not follow local politics.

    “I don’t have the time to care,” he said.

    Other students might not vote because they would not feel the impact of what they voted for, he said.

    Still, Litterer said he voted in the presidential election.

    “When there is a new president, there is the most change in the government,” he said.

    Litterer said he would continue to vote in presidential elections because he would want to have an influence on who would serve as president.