By Denton Josey, Page Editor
By Tuesday, only registered voters will be able to determine the outcome of the upcoming elections.
Barbara Pinkston, clerk for the Taylor County Elections Office, said the deadline to register for voting in the Nov. 7 elections in Taylor County is Tuesday. Registration forms are available at the Taylor County Elections Office, both public libraries, both post offices and on campus in the Political Science Department office, Room 220 of the Administration Building.
Pinkston said the elections office has run advertisements notifying the public about registration in the newspaper, on the radio and all three news stations.
Pinkston said she thinks the amount of voters every year is low in comparison to the population because “people are not aware of what a privilege it is to vote,” she said. “It’s just a lack of concern, I think.”
One of the effects of low voter participation, Pinkston said, is that a few people decide how to run this country. Last city election, only 10 percent of voters turned out, she said.
In the upcoming election, a number of positions will be voted upon. In addition to different state representatives, numerous judge seats and the position of attorney general, voters in Abilene will determine whether or not a smoking ban will go into effect in all public places in Abilene.
Bonnie Coley, junior exercise science and special education major from Abilene, is registered and plans to vote. While she is not very interested in politics, she said she thinks voting is a good way to “put your voice out there,” even if you don’t have strong opinions.
Dr. Neal Coates, professor of political science, said there are several reasons students may be interested in voting. This year a new governor will be elected and an ACU professor is on the ballot.
Coates said students from out of state may register to vote in Taylor County but would not be allowed to then also vote in their home state.
“You cannot vote in multiple states in multiple elections,” he said. “A person has to decide where they want to vote.”
There are two main reasons to vote, Coates said.
“First of all, a vote is a vote. College students should vote. Second of all, because the overall vote for persons eligible to vote is not high, college students’ votes count more.”
The average college-age person doesn’t vote, Coates said, so in a sense the people that do vote have more say.
“In other words, you have less competition-you ought to have your voice heard,” he said.
Voting is a good, lifelong habit that involves people in community and the decisions society makes, Coates said.
“Start the good habit of voting now.”