Changes influence student voting

The March 2 Texas statewide primary is fast approaching. Whether UH students will vote in large numbers remains an issue.

UH has provided shuttle buses to transport students to voting centers and served as a polling site in the past to help promote voting among the student body, but that’s not the case for this election.

“(We usually do them) more for national elections because it’s costing more, and they have a certain budget for that,” Associate Dean of Students Kamran Riaz said.

He said that UH was not asked to be a polling site for this election.

“As far as I know, they are not doing this for the primary. I assume because it is a costly endeavor. They only do this for the general elections,” said Christina Hughes, a lecturer in the Department of Political Science.

Regardless of the changes, some students are still passionate about voting.

“It’s important because other people in other countries are blowing each other up to be able to (vote) and we’re not doing it,” biology major Stephen Stocker said.

Stocker plans to vote in the upcoming governor election. He didn’t know about the related services that were offered by the campus in the past because he transferred this semester, but he believes the campus should do more to promote awareness and help students get to polling sites.

“We have a big problem with getting people our age to go vote,” Stocker said.

Students are sometimes unaware of upcoming voting opportunities.

“We really don’t know about it, they don’t boast it up,” kinesiology junior Mark Woods said about the upcoming election.

Woods said that he would be more likely to go and vote if the school offered transportation.

In some areas of UH, professors are trying to encourage students to vote by raising awareness about elections.

“We try to get together with some professors to talk to students about applying,” said Jamie Naugle, chief election commissioner of the Student Government Association.

As students, there are plenty of reasons that it’s difficult to vote.

“It’s hard finding the time. I’d want to make a good decision and research it but I don’t have the time,” social work graduate student Rochelle Williams said.

Hughes said the students can always drop by the UH Center for Public Policy and register to vote.

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