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Be Selfish — Vote!

This article appeared in an August 2016 issue of the student newsletter.

There are many good reasons to vote: Voting is your civic duty; people fought for your right to vote, so respect their fight by voting; if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain about how things turn out. 

But perhaps the best reason to vote is selfish: Voting can help you get what you want. You vote for people who can deliver real, tangible benefits to you. So be selfish: Register, then vote.

Here are a couple other reasons to vote:

Your vote can make the difference locally

The presidential election gets most of the attention. But along with the presidential election, there are usually local and state elections on the ballot. Local and state elections generally have the most direct impact on your life. Who decides how to fund public education, such as funding for your college? State lawmakers. Who determines how much in city taxes you should pay? Your city council member. Local elections can be won or lost by a few hundred votes. So, your vote can make a difference.

No one will listen if you don’t vote

You’ve heard the expression, “a squeaky wheel gets the grease”? One way to get what you want is to make noise at the voting booth. When you and other students vote in big numbers, politicians will take notice (and be more likely to apply the grease). So be the squeaky wheel!

It’s Easy to Register to Vote

Don’t know if you are eligible to vote? The state of Texas’ voting website can answer your questions. If you are eligible, it’s easy to download the voter registration form.