Early voting under way across Texas

Eligible seniors prepare to vote in gubernatorial election

Early+Voting+is+available+locally+at+the+Mammen+Family+Public+Library+in+Spring+Branch.

Darby Siebold

Early Voting is available locally at the Mammen Family Public Library in Spring Branch.

Emma Siebold, Editor-in-Chief

When Mary Lou Clerk recalls her first days of voting, she remembers paper ballots and punch cards. 

The retiree has now been working at polling stations for six years, and is currently working at Mammen Family Public Library for early voting this election cycle.

“(I’m) retired and I think it’s crucial to have people work the polls,” Clerk said. “I moved here 10 years ago from Michigan–the voting process is still the same.”

Clerk encourages members of younger populations to get out and vote.

“Your whole future is at stake,” Clerk said. “You have more to lose than anybody. I think people don’t realize that. If you want something to change about higher education or other issues for your age group–if you don’t vote, politicians can ignore you.”

In Texas’ last gubernatorial election in 2018, only 42.07 % of the voting age population voted. This makes Texas a non-voting state for state elections. 

“It affects your life,” Clerk said. “For (Gen Z), there’s student loan forgiveness. Whatever your issue is, you should be paying attention to where each party stands on those issues. In Texas, the Republicans have been the majority party for a long time now, and if the Democrats don’t go out to vote, they’re never going to be.”

Your whole future is at stake. You have more to lose than anybody. I think people don’t realize that. If you want something to change about higher education or other issues for your age group–if you don’t vote, politicians can ignore you.”

— Mary Lou Clerk

For senior Jonah Scott, voting is an important way to influence political change.

“It helps increase the amount of variety in opinions present in the political world as well as opening up paths for independent parties,” Scott said. 

The 2022 gubernatorial candidates, Republican incumbent Greg Abbott and Democrat Beto O’Rourke have debated over policies such as reproductive rights, gun control, immigration and the state’s energy grid. 

“I’m paying close attention to the abortion rights that are being granted in the state,” Scott said. “I’m interested to see the change in societal attitudes of people if and potentially when abortion laws are changed.”

Senior Grace Bush, who recently turned 18 in October, plans to vote early with her mind on censorship and individual liberties. 

“I’m voting for people’s freedoms,” senior Grace Bush. “I think we should be able to read books that just exist and not take them out of libraries. I think that people should play on sports teams that they want to play on. I think that people should do what they want with their bodies.” 

For more information on where to vote in Comal County, click here.