Another Day, Another Vote

New Voters Bring Record Breaking Midterm Turnout


Graphic by Deana Trautz

One day remains for registered voters to vote in the midterms. Voters must bring a valid form of ID to the polls.

Deana Trautz, Reporter

Today was the final day of early voting in Texas, meaning that Nov. 6 is the last opportunity to vote in the 2018 midterms. While presidential elections often attract the most voters, The Texas Tribune reported that this year’s midterms are resulting in a larger turnout than ever, with twice as many Texans showing up for early voting than in the 2014 midterm.

Additionally, youth voter turnout could be the highest of all time, according to a poll done by the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. They found that 40 percent of the 18 to 29-year-olds polled said they will vote on Nov. 6. Some seniors have been contributing to the youth turnout this year by getting out during early voting.

“I didn’t know if I would be busy on Nov. 6 and I wouldn’t have time,” senior Becca Thiemann said. “It was really important for me to vote because I can finally have a say in what happens to my everyday life, and that’s not an opportunity I think anyone should pass up.”

Senior Felicity Shelton was one out of the estimated 60 students who registered to vote this year at the Rho Kappa registration drive on Sept. 25. Shelton, who has gotten the chance to vote during early voting, said that before turning 18, she sometimes felt powerless without the ability to vote for the candidates she liked.

“I was annoyed because I could not vote for the person that I would have [voted for], and sometimes my parents would not go out and vote, and that would really annoy me,” Shelton said. “Adults have their minds set on whether or not they are going to do it, but when you are a teenager, you have such a wide variety of options to talk about it and motivate people to do it.”

Now that she is able to vote, Shelton said that she has a greater influence on people who are on the fence about voting.

It is most crucial for 18-year-olds because their future is most at stake, ”

— Kali Sime

“It is important for us to actually do something, rather than say ‘oh this is what I want, but I’m not going to anything about it, I will just take what comes,’” Shelton said. “My mom is not much of a voter, but I am so passionate about my beliefs, so she was like ‘yeah, I believe the same things as you, so I will go vote.’”

Influencing others to vote can surely make an impact on turnout, but senior Kali Sime said that it is also vital to encourage people to research their candidates before voting, in order to be familiar with the candidates’ views. Doing this prior to the polls is recommended as phones are banned inside the voting booths, even if they are being used for research. Voters can still bring in a voter’s guide or notes to help them make their decisions.

“It is definitely possible you may have views that align with multiple parties,” Sime said. “If you vote for someone who you do not agree with or doesn’t have the best interest in mind for all people, then you may ultimately regret your decision when the government starts regressing.”

Sime said that it is in all 18-year-olds’ best interest to vote, since their adulthood will be affected by the choices made by the government.

“It is most crucial for 18-year-olds because their future is most at stake, and they are about to be out on their own,” Sime said. “Economically and socially, they have so much to lose if people in the government make decisions that will make their lives harder.”

Midterm ballots include more than the highly debated TX Senate candidates, Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke. The ballot also lists candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Railroad Commissioner and Places on the LISD Board of Trustees. Registered voters can find a sample ballot here, and get to know their TX candidates with this article from The Texas Tribune.

Registered to vote?

Click here to find the nearest polling place for early voting and for Nov. 6.