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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Be heard, go vote

Voting+is+open+to+the+public+in+the+MSC.
Photo by Photo by Haylea Keith

Voting is open to the public in the MSC.

Voters may see some slight changes in how they vote after the passing of a new bill in Texas.
With election day on Tuesday, Nov. 2, right around the corner, voters should begin to prepare for the big day. City of College Station secretary Tanya Smith said after the passing of Senate Bill 598, Texas is now required to have a voter verifiable paper trail. Smith said the process is similar to what voters have experienced before but will now include a paper ballot that is fed into the machine.
“They will take your driver’s license [and] they will run it to see if [you’re] register[ed] to vote. Then they’ll give you a ballot and a number,” Smith said. “You’ll take that ballot and your number and you [will] go to the poll and you feed that ballot in, make your selection and it’ll feed it back out. Then we have another scanner that actually scans the ballot.”
Historically, odd-year elections typically have a smaller turnout, but Elections Administrator Trudy Hancock said Brazos County has seen a drastic drop in turnout for the current election cycle.
“We’re only at [8] percent of our voters,” Hancock said. “We have 121,402 registered voters, and we’ve only had 15,169 people vote as of [midday Oct. 27].”
Though there are no national elections, Smith said there are plenty of ways to influence the city by coming out to vote. Smith said it is important for college students to be involved in the voting process because who represents the city on city council and the charter amendments affects everyone living in the area, including students.
“[Students] need to know who the council members are; they can even come to some of the council meetings [to] kind of see what’s going on. Then when the elections come up, you know, they may know who they want to vote for,” Smith said. “Even if you’re not living in this town [long-term], it’s still really important to focus on what’s happening, especially when we have charter amendments.”
When coming for either early voting or Election Day, Smith and Hancock said voters should bring their government-issued ID. Students who cannot obtain an ID who wish to vote, can fill out an explanation at their chosen polling place, and vote with a subsequent ID, which can be a voter registration card, government check or a utility bill.
“Even our out of state students [can] use their out of state license, they would just have to sign a form called a reasonable impediment, stating that they do not have a Texas driver’s license, and then they are the person they say they are,” Hancock said. “Then they would be able to cast their vote as long as they’re registered.”
The ballot contains eight current State of Texas propositions including the authorization of professional sports teams’ charitable foundations, county infrastructure, the limitations of religious organizations and the change of eligibility requirements for court justices.
For the city of College Station ballot, the election includes a race for two city council positions: Place 4 and Place 6, as well as four propositions such as prop. C.
“Shall Article III (The City Council), Section 17 (Number, Selection, Term), Subsection (d) of the College Station City Charter be amended to provide that the general election is to be held on the November uniform election date of […] Each odd-numbered year […] Instead of on the November uniform election date of each even-numbered year; and to provide a process to transition from even-numbered election years to odd-numbered election years,” the amendment reads.
Early voting will continue from Oct. 28-29 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Students who are not registered in Brazos County but wish to vote can do so during the final days of early voting with a limited ballot at the Downtown Bryan voting area.
“They get both a limited ballot, which would mean they would be able to vote anything that’s the same for us in the county that they live in,” Hancock said. “So, since the constitutional amendments are statewide, they would be able to vote on the constitutional amendments.”
Voters may view a sample ballot at brazosvotes.org.
Below is the list of 24 polling locations for Nov. 2 which will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • Millican Community Center
  • College Station Meeting and Training Facility
  • Galilee Baptist Church
  • Zion Church of Kurten
  • Parkway Baptist Church
  • College Heights Assembly of God
  • First Baptist Church – Bryan
  • Beacon Baptist Church
  • Bryan Ballroom
  • Brazos County Administration Building
  • Memorial Student Center
  • Texas A&M College of Medicine
  • Lincoln Center
  • Bob & Wanda Meyers Senior & Com. Center
  • College Station ISD Administration Building
  • Fellowship Freewill Baptist Church
  • Castle Heights Baptist Church
  • St. Francis Episcopal Church
  • A&M Church of Christ
  • Arena Hall
  • Brazos Center
  • Wellborn Baptist Church
  • Living Hope Baptist Church
  • Church of the Nazarene
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