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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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Register to vote, determine our future

Opinion+writer+Zach+Freeman+encourages+Bryan-College+Station+residents+to+register+to+vote+on+Monday%2C+Oct.+4+in+his+latest+piece.%26%23160%3B
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Opinion writer Zach Freeman encourages Bryan-College Station residents to register to vote on Monday, Oct. 4 in his latest piece. 

For some readers, this may be the first time you’re hearing of an upcoming election. You’re not the only one.

The United States trails most of the developed world in voter turnout, ranking as low as 30 out of 35 countries surveyed. On average, barely over half of eligible voters participate. That number is even lower for non-presidential elections

Registration and voting may feel like a hassle for first-time voters, but it’s one of the few times the public gets to determine how our states and cities are run. The Nov. 2 uniform election is especially important in setting precedent and determining how future elections are run in College Station.
There are three propositions on the ballot for the city. Proposition A determines if council members can hold stock or have investments in city-affiliated businesses. Proposition B would require council members to disclose large financial contributions. Lastly, Proposition C would begin the transition of College Station to off-year elections, meaning local elections would not occur on years with presidential and midterm elections. This last policy would likely further decrease voter turnout, empower special interest groups and cost College Station taxpayers more money. 

Place 4 and 6 on the College Station City Council, currently held by Elizabeth Cunha and Dennis Maloney, respectively, are also on this year’s ballot. The five-two passing of a recent controversial city ordinance, the Restricted Occupancy Overlay, shows that every council position is crucial in determining aspects of your life, like where you can live or how many chickens you can have there.

William Wright is running against the incumbent, Cunha. As one of the better advocates for our feathered friends, Aggies and College Station families, Cunha is the natural choice.

David Levine and Marie-Anne Mousseau-Holland are running against the Place 6 incumbent, Maloney. Councilman Maloney is not as impressive a leader as Cunha. Legislation like Proposition C and the ROO has been a focus for Maloney since he was elected. Additionally, Maloney’s desire to put distance between the B and CS in Bryan-College Station only makes College Station look like the more selfish of the two. Bryan City Council acknowledging its shared history with Texas A&M does not take anything away from College Station. While Bryan and College Station are independent cities, we are one dependent community with shared interests. We’re all Aggies, and we’re better off for it. 

Additionally, Maloney’s decision to not stand up for the city’s right to protect its citizens’ health and safety makes one think that he should instead be called Dennis Baloney. 
Mousseau-Holland, an already established leader in empowering women’s entrepreneurship, is the best option for Place 6. Her role as City Director for Lemonade Day, though trivial to some, further demonstrates her administrative capabilities. Plus, her experience in corralling small children at her business gives her a distinct advantage in understanding how politicians operate. 

Statewide, Texans can vote on eight propositions at this year’s election. Propositions range from ratifying raffles at rodeos to expanding tax exemptions for military spouses. Proposition 2 gives counties the right to fund underdeveloped areas via grants. Proposition 3 prohibits any laws limiting religious services. Propositions 4 and 5 dictate how our judiciary is elected and how they can be investigated. Proposition 6 dictates that residents of nursing facilities can designate an essential caregiver, who cannot be barred from seeing them.

Depending on when you read this article, don’t panic, there’s still time to register! Oct. 4 is your last chance to register to vote for the Nov. 2 uniform elections. You can check your voter registration status here. The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot is Oct. 22, and early voting lasts between Oct. 18 and Oct. 29.

So go out and vote, dear Batt readers. Making sure that your registration is postmarked by Oct. 4 guarantees you a place in determining the future of our community and state. 

Zachary Freeman is an anthropology senior and opinion columnist for The Battalion.

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