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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Gubernatorial primaries to open Tuesday, March 1

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

Voting is open to the public in the MSC.

As the primary election day approaches, the Brazos Valley is preparing to host voters in 26 polling places across the area.
On Tuesday, March 1, voters across the county will have the final opportunity to share their voice in their political parties’ primary race before the November midterm elections. With a full ballot for all sides of the political divide, Brazos County Elections Administrator Trudy Hancock said it is important for all registered voters to have a say in who will remain on the ballot for the November elections.
“We have a full slate of candidates on both sides, all the way from federal all the way down to local,” Hancock said. “We do have some locally contested races [that] have two Commissioner races that are really contested [and] the [Justice of the Peace] race.”
With early voting starting off slow, Hancock said it picked up on its final day on Friday, Feb. 25 and as of Friday afternoon, Brazos County had 7,759 individuals vote early. Hancock said these low early voting numbers may create longer lines on election day, but if individuals arrive at a location with a long line, there will be a posted sign showing the four next closest locations so voters can speed up the process if they do not want to wait in line.
“Since we didn’t have as big a turnout in early voting as we usually have, you may have to wait a little bit,” Hancock said. “We do post the four closest locations, so at the location you normally vote at, if you get there and the line is really long, you can look on the postings and see a location that’s closer that maybe wouldn’t have as many people.”
Before heading to the polling places, Hancock said voters should ensure they have their photo ID, and if they have any notes regarding candidates, they must be printed on paper as phones are not allowed at the polling booths.
“We’ve had a lot of people that have their notes, saved in their phones or a sample ballot … [but] you can’t take a phone in the booth,” Hancock said. “Just be sure you bring printed whatever you want your cheat sheet for you because you can’t take your phone in the booth.”
To help ensure individuals are prepared to vote, the Texas A&M Student Government Association Municipal Affairs Committee and Gig the Vote team members have compiled a nonpartisan voting guide for Brazos County, featuring all candidates and propositions broken down for all parties. 
Community members can use this free resource to decide who they want to vote for in each position, Vice President of the Municipal Affairs Committee and political science junior Clarence Niel Manglal-lan said.
“We produce the voter guide because oftentimes election information is pretty hard to find for the regular student — finding out who is running, what to expect on your ballot, what offices are up for election,” Manglal-lan said. “We wanted to give students a sort of guide to use as a framework for finding out which races they want to research the candidates or if there’s a particular office that they’re interested in seeing the policy. For example, we lay out what the governor’s roles are, we lay out what the comptroller’s roles are, just giving a framework for students in terms of like, how they should conduct their research, or things that they should be aware of like watching the news cycle for the election.”
Manglal-lan said doing research before heading out to a polling place is essential so individuals know who is on the ballot and what their beliefs are that they would carry into office, if elected.
“It’s important to do your research in order to stay informed about candidates,” Manglal-lan said. “Although a person can identify as Republican or Democrat, and while the parties have a general platform for where they align on key issues, such gun control versus freedom to bear arms, [candidates still have individual beliefs].”
Although it may not appear so with the large number of votes cast, Manglal-lan said it is vital that each person has their voice heard, especially regarding state and local races.
“It’s especially important to participate in local, municipal and state elections, especially in  these offices even though they’re not as glamorous, or they don’t have as much of a spotlight, as the national races,”  Manglal-lan said. “A lot of people don’t realize that local government and state government, they have a lot more impact in terms of your day-to-day life, the thing that you kind of take for granted.”
Hancock also said individuals should be aware of the new voting system, which was put in place to align with Senate Bill 598, where Texas is now required to have a voter verifiable paper trail. To prepare to use the new system, Hancock said individuals can watch the demonstration on the brazosvotes.org website before heading out to vote.
“[The] new system is a hybrid system that has a paper base,” Hancock said. “You still vote on the machine electronically, like you have in the past, but it prints out your choices on a ballot and gives it back to you for you to be able to look over to make sure that your choices that you selected were correct and then you put it in a scanner for your vote to be counted.”
Voters can view sample ballots for the Republican and Democratic parties at brazosvotes.org.
Below is the list of 26 polling locations for March 1 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 

  • Bryan Ballroom

  • Brazos County Election Admin Office – Ruth McLeod Training Room

  • Memorial Student Center (MSC)

  • New Zion Missionary Baptist Church 

  • Texas A&M College of Medicine 

  • Lincoln Center 

  • College Station City Hall (Bush 4141.cmty.rm)

  • College Station ISD Admin 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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