STAFF EDITORIAL: Time is now for students to mark the ballot

In a remarkably bipartisan effort, Students for Barack Obama at UH organized a carpool to transport fellow students – even Republicans – to early voting locations (see story, Page 1).

Unfortunately, not many took them up on the generous offer.

Harris County set historic records for numbers of votes cast on the first day of early voting, The Houston Chronicle reported. The Chronicle even described the situation as "part circus."

People are clearly taking to the polls in droves, but are UH students? It’s a question we don’t readily have an answer to, but we hope Monday wasn’t any indication.

Students for Barack Obama at UH were willing to do all of the legwork to get students to the polls, and all they asked in return was that they wanted to get there and wanted to vote – they didn’t even care who it was for.

It’s disheartening that only 25 students of a population of more than 30,000 took them up on their offer.

Our generation has been slapped with allegations of apathy, but many have made proving critics wrong a priority this year. Voter registration has broken records, and groups are sprouting up on college campuses across the country in support of one candidate or another.

Signs indicate students are energized and excited about this election. We only hope those students who took the time to fill out a short form or change their address online actually take the time to vote.

As students we understand busy schedules and know that our peers can quickly get bogged down with tests and papers. We also realize that long lines snaking from early-voting locations can be very intimidating.

However, students should make voting a priority, especially when others are making it easy for them.

Lines will probably only get longer as last-minute voters trickle in on Election Day, and students will find themselves just as busy when Nov. 4 rolls around.

One must accept the fact that voting means waiting, no matter when one does so. At least on Monday it didn’t have to mean facing road rage, too.

The student group plans to reschedule the carpool, and we sincerely hope more students hitch a ride.

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