For many people the question isn’t, “What can I do to make a difference?” The real question prospective voters ask is, “Why should I care?”
While young adults, age 18-29, made up 50 percent of votes in the 2016 presidential election, many remain skeptical about politics and government, and consequently, don’t vote. A lot of millennials are misguided or unconcerned. There’s a lack of interest that is often times caused by an absence of basic knowledge regarding the subject. They feel the political grid is too complex and, as a result, are discouraged. This is understandable, as sometimes we’re dealt a limited time to read and research, and the abundance of information can be overbearing. But many Americans also believe that politics doesn’t directly affect them, so they make the decision not to care. In contrast, many do care but see a rigged political system, which means for them there’s no way to implement change. In truth, we tend to underrate the political power that results from the people, collectively.
What are Primary Elections?
A primary election allows voters to vote early to elect a candidate from their political party as a contender in the midterm. Candidates elected in the primary are nominees for their political party, usually Democrat or Republican, who will run against a candidate of the opposite party in the midterm elections.
What are Midterm Elections?
Midterm elections focus on electing senators, house representatives, governors, lt. governors, attorney generals, and more. This is important because candidates who fill these positions collectively create and enforce statewide legislation. Officials who fill senate and house seats in Texas for the U.S. Senate and House take on the important responsibility of U.S. lawmaking. Each state will eventually elect or reelect senators and U.S. Representatives to fill congress. If there are more Democrats elected, we can suggest that future policies will be more progressive. The more Republicans elected, we can assume that future policies will be more conservative. If equally split, we can hope for a bipartisan effort, but we can also expect a period of stagnation.
The Texas primary elections are happening now. But maybe you’re not registered to vote. Or maybe you are, but don’t quite know the importance of voting in state elections. Maybe you don’t know where to vote and are too embarrassed to ask for help so instead you say, “I’ll just do it next time”. Some of you may just need a little encouragement. When you cast a vote, it should be effective and, simultaneously, align with your values. You want to rest assured that the endorsed candidate will create the change you wish to see, or at least, serves as an emblem of your sociopolitical ideology.
Texas holds its 2018 primary elections on March 6. Midterm elections are held on November 6. You can visit Ballotpedia or The Texas Tribune to see who’s on the Texas Primary ballots, so that you can do some general research on these candidates before voting.
There are two places to vote in Texarkana, Bi-State Justice Center or the Bowie County Courthouse.
If you’re not registered to vote in Texas, that’s alright. You missed the deadline for the primary, but you can still register to vote in time for the 2018 midterm elections. Visit your county courthouse and present a form of identification: driver license, military ID, passport, birth certificate, Texas Election ID, or handgun license.
When there’s community social engagement, there’s also a sense of inclusion. Voting provides that inclusion. You’re serving as a constituent of the American democracy. The more involved you are in the community and council of your city, the more you will feel like you’re making a difference. Positive reinforcement of your sociological and ideological beliefs affect the way that you see yourself, as well as the people who organize to create political change.