NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Early voting for the November election started Monday, October 22. Each vote cast will make a difference for days to come.
Something new was tried for the very first time in Nacogdoches. It benefits all voters, but particularly younger and first time voters.
Three SFA coed students were almost giddy after voting for the first time. Speaking over one another you heard, "Awesome.” “I feel really good.” “It was pretty cool."
Voting for the first time makes them feel important.
"I feel like I have a voice,” said Cameron Wall. “Even if things don't turn out how I want, I know I tried. I mattered."
The millennial vote mattered enough today in Nacogdoches. Grace Bible Church, a place within walking distance of SFA, was selected as one of six branch locations opened today for any voter. Students took full advantage of the opportunity. Some walked in groups to cast their votes together.
"Had it not been this close, then I may not have done early voting,” said Isabelle Ruth Shamblin. “I may have just waited."
Which could lead to never voting. According to Pew Research, millennials continue to have the lowest voter turnout of any age group.
"It's the most important time to do it because you start building a habit at a young age," said Ashley Whiting.
Nacogdoches County commissioner Robin Dawley will be among those to watch the voter numbers closely.
"If there's a good turnout and the students are responsive to it, then we could do this in the future."
Lessons are learned by first-time voters, like the importance of election homework.
"There are some I even felt bad for picking because like I had no idea what this is," said Emily Harrison.
The steady flow of experienced voters into the six polling branches indicates many voters have a pulse on what's happening and have made up their minds.
"Our country is in danger right now, so it's very important," said early voter Pansy Tinkle.
Early voter Marilyn Eames always votes in elections.
"It's very important to vote. The mid-terms are very, very important."
Important enough to Eames that she traveled to the polls in a wheelchair, dodging cars and maneuvering a busy North Street crossing. It’s an example of responsibility to voters of all ages.
After today thru November 2, early voters will need to vote at the Nacogdoches County Courthouse Annex. That location will be open this coming Saturday from nine to three.