By Cassandra Lyles

Election day, November 6th draws near in the race for Senate in Texas. However, youth voter registration is much lower than the older demographic. When compared to the voter turnout of senior citizens, 65 and up (65 percent),  youth numbers are substantially low. The youth of America misses out on the legacy that this country was built on, by passing up their right to vote.

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” – Franklin D Roosevelt

Democratic representative Beto O’Rourke and Republican representative Ted Cruz are spearheading the race for both of their respective parties. Beto O’Rourke is from El Paso, Texas and visited all 254 counties in Texas during his campaign to speak about the issues the state and country are facing. An issue that may interest students is O’Rourke’s wish to increase Pell Grant scholarships and the Federal Perkins Loan program to ensure that all Texans can afford education. As well as improve access to community colleges, trade schools, nanodegrees and increase public funding for low-income community schools. He also stands for instituting more secure background checks for all sales of firearms, stop selling weapons of war and high capacity magazines designed to take lives. In regards to immigration, O’Rourke’s campaign page states “Ensure that those who come to our borders seeking refuge from violence and persecution are given a fair opportunity to present their claims and guaranteed due process under our laws,”.

On the conservative end of the spectrum, stands Ted Cruz from Calgary, Canada. While Cruz did not include his views on education on his campaign site, upon further research, Cruz opposes Common Core curriculum and feels education is a local and state issue. Cruz claims to be one of the counties leading supporters of the Second Amendment.

“The Second Amendment is an integral part f the Bill of Rights.”- Ted Cruz

According to his campaign site, Cruz is against illegal immigration and is for building a wall around the Southern border of the United States.

“You want to lose elections, stand for nothing…”-Ted Cruz

If you have not registered to vote you can help in other ways such as spreading the word about your preferred candidate. While it is too late to register to vote, rest assured that if you voted in the 2016 election, you are still registered.  As to where to vote, if your county takes part in the Countrywide Polling Place Program you can vote at any voting booth. However, if your county does not participate in CWPP, then you will have to go to the location your precinct assigns to you.

Alexander Hamilton said, “A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject…” In order for change to take place, the youth of America need to think about what they stand for and execute those thoughts into action by voting.

To find out your voter location, go to the “My Voter Page” at www.votetexas.gov.

To visit Ted Cruz’s campaign site click here.

To visit Beto O’Rourke’s campaign site click here.

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