Story was updated on March 3 at 7:50 p.m. to insert Enlace News’ video and update an incorrect date.
As voters cast their ballots March 1 at a polling site in the Mays Center, students celebrated their right to vote at an outdoor event hosted by MOVE Texas, a nonprofit that helps register voters and educates students about voting.
The MOVE Texas party was held in the courtyard in front of the Central Academic Building.
They had music playing, colorful stickers with the words “VOTE” and sample ballots for those who were or signed up to be registered to vote.
This was the fourth time the Mays Center opened its doors for students and the Southside community to cast their vote for this year’s primary elections according to The Mesquite.
Patrick Galarza, a Texas A&M-San Antonio kinesiology senior, sat as people passed by the courtyard getting voter information.
Galarza said he has never taken an interest in voting but wanted to participate in this year’s primary elections.
“Especially the younger generation, we are the future,” Galarza said. “What we want in our representatives we should put forth our actions to it.”
Galarza believes that voting is important for the people to have their voice heard. Voting for representatives that are going to be speaking on behalf of the community, especially those with different backgrounds.
One way for voters to have their voices heard through the representatives they elect is by studying the candidates prior to casting their ballot.
Jay Barboza, a marketing junior at A&M San-Antonio, explained the importance of participants studying the candidates to see which one shares the voter’s ideals.
“It’s also to see what your beliefs are,” Barboza said who was studying in the courtyard Tuesday afternoon. “I believe that if there’s someone out there that can represent exactly what you believe in, you should vote for them.”
However, it’s not as easy as doing a quick search if you want to have confidence in your candidates.
Meredith Schuman, a canvasser for MOVE Texas, provided tips on deciphering if something is true.
Schuman said that it can be a bit hard to decide what she feels is true when researching candidates, but she has some sources to help with that.
“I try to check what I consider to be reputable sources. I like Reuters and the Associated Press,” Schuman said who was canvassing and educating students who came by the MOVE Texas table.
Schuman searches to confirm sources aren’t conflicting when covering events or stories on the candidates.
“If one side of the story is being told or one perspective is being told by one source and another side is telling something completely different, I’ll look into it further,” Schuman said.
Tony Tresca, who is also from MOVE Texas, said he hopes that engaging with people and having conversations about voting encourages them and others to be lifelong participants in their community.
“Everyone has different issues that are important to them, and it is important in a democracy that everybody’s perspective is represented,” Tresca said as he encouraged students to register to vote. “ Different backgrounds, all demographics, everyone deserves to have their perspective shared.”
Of the 50,484 voters who cast ballots Feb. 14-25 during early voting in Bexar County, 219 — or less than 1% — voted at the polling place on campus, according to the Bexar County Elections Department. According to the Mays Center, 110 voters came out on March 1 to cast their ballots.
Winning Democratic and Republican candidates of the March 1 primary election will now face off during the Nov. 8 general election or move to the runoff election on May 24.
Oct. 11 is the last day to register to vote before the Nov. 8 general election.
For more information, visit MOVETexas.org.