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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Opinion

With voting becoming harder, it is up to you to make sure your voice is heard


Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

The upcoming election will place more challenges on voters than in 2018. On top of partisan gerrymandering and voter registration laws there are significant restrictions to mail in voting, which is not good. 

Coronavirus has limited people’s ability to go outside and it is safe to assume more people will not vote in person. Unfortunately the U.S. Postal Service is getting gutted months before an important election.

Remember this affects people who are not in their county of residence while the voting process takes place, like if they are on campus in a different city.

In July, a message from USPS’s executive vice president was sent to Texas officials with a warning that mail-in ballots might not get processed in time for the November election. This is horrible. 

Right now the best way to guarantee your vote gets processed is to either vote in person or personally deliver your ballot to your county’s elections office. This has to get done early, before Oct. 24,  if you want to be extra cautious, assuming the ballots are not thrown out. 

It is early, so we do not know if any other obstacles will get placed in front of those who want to vote. Regardless it is important to keep an eye out for any polling stations that close and where they are. 

College students are a particular target for certain legislatures, so now is the right time to be cautious of any suspicious activity. This can range from closing polling stations in major urban areas to removing people from registration lists because of unfair laws. 

Here is some more important information to know: The deadline to register to vote, either by mail or in person, is Oct. 5. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Oct. 23, but it is important to get that done early because the post office is going through some trouble right now. Texas does not offer online registration, which is bad.

While election day is November 3, the early voting period goes from Oct. 13-30. You will need to check in your county for the specific times polling stations are open, but I recommend voting early, for all that’s worth, to avoid long lines.

Santiago Gaughan is an education sophomore who can be reached at [email protected]

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