The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Community benefits from early voting

Illustration+by+Michael+Harp%2FThe+Collegian
Illustration by Michael Harp/The Collegian
October 30, 2019 | Editorial
Illustration by Michael Harp/The Collegian
Illustration by Michael Harp/The Collegian

Anything that enhances a citizen’s ability to vote is valuable to democracy, and early voting can provide more accessibility for all American voters.

In any state with low early voting turnout or no early voting option at all, the problems are numerous.

Lines on election day are inevitably long for voters because everyone is forced to be at one designated location, in a short amount of time, on the same day.

With early voting, people can vote over several weeks and in many different locations.  Providing more locations to ease the burden of a frustratingly long line are already in place in 32 states and the District of Columbia.

Political campaigns can view the publicly available voter records and see ahead of the election who in their voter database has already voted.

Candidates and their staff can focus on voters who have yet to cast a ballot and try to get boots on the ground to reach these people.

At the same time, they are able to avoid pestering their constituents who have already voted in the current election.

Attempting to vote early and finding an irregularity with one’s ability to vote is an obstacle that can be overcome with enough time. Taking advantage of early voting offers the solution to this dilemma that affects so many by allowing that person some time to resolve their registration discrepancies and get their voice heard through their vote. Early voting is the built-in second chance that some voters will need during an election.

Tarrant County provides 44 voting locations, and six spots on each of TCC’s campuses.

Any voter in Tarrant County can vote at any location. Early voting is happening now and runs through Nov. 1.

All TCC students who are registered to vote can enjoy the convenience of early voting on their home campus during a break in their normal school day.

Early voting is even more important in local elections versus presidential elections. This year’s ballot in Tarrant County asks citizens to vote for new city council members, mayors and numerous school bond proposals and almost a dozen requests to amend the Texas constitution.

These issues will affect the day-to-day lives of students at TCC and residents of Tarrant County.

Some states, such as North Carolina, in 2013, attempted to limit the state’s citizens’ ability to register to vote on the same day, as well as trying to eliminate one week of early voting from the schedule.

This attempt to disenfranchise the voters of the state is favored by politicians and political parties who wish to maintain a low voter turnout. Fortunately, this effort to reduce voter turnout failed.

The Texas legislature, dominated by Republicans, signed H.B. 1888 back in June to eliminate funding for early voting locations on TCC campuses.

Election administrators at TCC did not allocate any funds to continue paying for early voting locations for elections in 2020, citing poor turnout at early voting locations on all campuses.

Realizing the importance of early voting and taking advantage of it truly enhances the democratic process of this nation. An informed the electorate strengthens

All citizens, regardless of their political affiliation, should embrace the ability to vote and take ownership of their right to voice their opinions at the polls.

Anything that impedes a person’s ability to vote is harmful to democracy, and citizens must remain vigilant when it comes to preserving  their voting rights.

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