Voter registration soars amid national uncertainties

Alex Huerta/The JTAC

A Tarleton student registers to vote in the Nov. 3 election through

National Voter Registration Day was Tuesday, Sept. 22, and with 2020 being a census year, a congressional election year and a presidential election year, it is more important than ever use your voice and vote.

“The importance of voting is to emphasize the democracy of this great country by exercising your freedom of voice and freedom of choice of the candidate that you so choose,” Tarleton President Dr. James Hurley said. “Going out and voting is critically important. It’s a freedom, it’s something that makes the United States of America so special.”

The American government was created to be, by the people and for the people, which is why voting is vital in preserving that idea.

“Voting is important because the American government was designed to be a limited government rooted in the consent of the governed,” Federal Government professor, Benjamin Slomski, said. “The idea of self-government requires that citizens actually take their duty to vote seriously. The most effective way to ensure that our elected leaders stay within the bounds of the Constitution and know what the people truly want is to have an engaged and knowledgeable electorate.”

One aspect that is extremely important in voting is being an informed voter.

“Informed voters are voters who have fully researched all the candidates on their ballot and have actively deliberated over who they will vote for,” Slomski said. “Informed voters should be able to give a principled argument for the way they cast their ballot that goes beyond party allegiance or self-interest.”

Slomski believes that being an informed voter does not mean only being informed on major elections, but local elections as well.

What is critical in understanding the importance of voting, especially for young voters, is that voting is weapon to be wielded with extreme care and precision.

“It’s important for young voters and future voters to realize that the right to vote, like any right, is intended to be exercised with the utmost deliberation and preparation,” Slomski said.

Voting is not just an act of freedom, but an act of power. The choices that people make when voting can forever shape the nation.

“Every election is going to affect our lives because it shapes our government, and young voters should recognize the importance of voting. However, they also should understand that when they select a name on the ballot, they are making a serious choice for the future of the nation,” Slomski said.

Knowing that the choices you make when voting can create a huge impact is quite terrifying. However, do not let the pressure of this prevent you from casting your vote.

“I encourage all young people and old people alike that are eligible to vote, to vote,” Hurley said. “That’s your true freedom and no one can take that away from you.”

Some important things to note about this upcoming election are the dates and deadlines for voter registration, mail-in ballot requests, early voting, and election day.

In the state of Texas, the application for voter registration must be received by Oct. 5.

To vote by mail, an excuse is mandatory to receive a mail-in ballot. A request for a mail-in ballot must be sent in by Oct. 13. Once you have your mail-in ballot, it must be received by election day on Nov. 3. The postal service suggests sending mail-in ballots at least two weeks prior to election day, to ensure your vote gets counted. Another thing to note is that the signature on your mail-in ballot must match the signature on your driver’s license or voter registration, or it will be tossed and not counted.

The early voting dates are Oct. 19 through Oct. 30. unfortunately you must vote in the county you are registered in no matter when you vote. This means that many Tarleton students will have to make a trip home in order to vote. For students who’s homes are hours away or even in another state this could mean not being able to vote at all.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

For more in-depth information, checking your registration status, registering to vote or research on candidates, you can visit websites such as, nationalvoterregistrationday. org, and