The midterm elections are quickly approaching. While this normally wouldn’t cause such a big buzz, you’ve likely heard that it’s going to be a big year for Texas. Democratic nominee Beto O’Rourke is inching closer and closer to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. Whether you’re red, blue, green or couldn’t care less, you should understand why voting is important, especially at our age.

Groups all across campus are spreading awareness of the upcoming elections and trying to engage the community. You can read about Tigers for Liberty canvassing for Chip Roy, Trinity Progressives deputizing their members to register voters and Student Government Association teaming up with organizations across campus for New Voter Registration Day. Even professors are encouraging their students to get politically active, whether it’s handing out information on voter registration or canceling class on Election Day.

Why does everyone suddenly seem to care about the election? Maybe it’s that everyone suddenly realized that we aren’t being represented in the outcome of elections because we aren’t voting. According to the Census Bureau, the age group 18 to 29 consistently has a lower turnout than older generations. Even though we’re the ones who are going to be around the longest to deal with any politicians we don’t like.

We’re here to tell you that voting — much like the free press — is a chance for you to exercise your right to a democracy. Voting is a privilege that you should take advantage of, because many people across the world today aren’t given this chance. People fought for you to exercise your right to vote.

Remember that your vote is equivalent to your voice. If the elections come around in November and you were too lazy or just forgot to vote, it may be hard to justify your opinion on the results. The point of our democracy is to have us feel represented by our elected politicians, and if you don’t vote, how are your views going to be represented?

If you support Beto, go vote. If you support Ted Cruz, go vote. If you support neither, go vote. This is going to be a close one.

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