Young voters expected to play big role in election - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Young voters expected to play big role in election

By Donna McCollum

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Baker Patillo Student Center at Stephen F. Austin State University is serving as a polling site Monday and Tuesday. Polls open at 11:00, but university students are there much earlier. Assistant election administrator Todd Stallings gives final instructions to the waiting group.  " If you're a first time voter you're going to need to have some form of photo id. If you've voted before in this county all you need is your voter certificate, " he instructed. One voter proudly held his never used orange voter card up, smiled and said,   " Time to vote."

At times there are so many voters that it's necessary to stop them at the door. The young voters form lines quickly. Some have to get to class, but most are just eager to have a say in who becomes the next President of the United States. Josh Brubaker proudly explained,  " They're expressing their American duty and American freedom that we have and to also get more voters for each candidate. And so it's beneficial for the candidate to want to get them out to vote. "

They're the generation that can make a difference. Across the nation young voters are showing an interest in this presidential year, something not generally seen in most elections. Assistant professor of Department of Government, Dr. Steven Galatas noted,  " The 18-24 category is usually the lowest voter turnout rate among age groups. So the opportunity for students to actually come in and vote on campus does help boost that and in fact there is a lot of enthusiasm. " Apathy is replaced by interest. University voter Elizabeth Smith agreed,  " I know that a lot more discussion has been made on campus since we are having the voting on campus. I know in class we have a lot more discussion then we have had in the past. "

The issues on their minds are similar to that of all Americans. Keandre Cox reflected,  " I just don't want to have the struggle with the same things my parents are struggling with. " After all, they are tomorrow's workforce.  

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