Voting Advocates Rally Young Voters Back into Ballot Box for Local Elections
By Jordyn Rush
Early voting has officially kicked off in Austin, Texas, for this year’s election. Both Travis County and student groups work to improve the voter experience, educate on how to be prepare for this year’s election and simplify the ballot box process for all voters.
“It’s not a difficult process, you just have to figure out what the steps are and that is what TxVotes is here to do is to make all of the steps easier for you,” said Kassie Phebillo, TxVotes Program Coordinator.
This election implements Travis County’s new voting technology to make it easier to vote, and keep record of them.
“This is the first time we have been able to offer voters a paper trail and it is very warmly received and voters have been waiting for it for almost 15 years,” said Dana DeBeauvoir, Travis County Clerk. “We could not find a company to manufacture a paper trail and its finally here.”
With the recent uptick of young voters here in Travis County, both the county and TxVotes are working diligently to educate voters that they can get back into the ballot boxes confidently this upcoming election season.
“It’s really important that we are saying, so you are registered, now what,” said Phebillo. “But then you have to understand, yes I have to go learn what’s on my ballot, I need to make sure I have the right I.D., I need to make sure I know where my polling location is [and] in Travis county you can vote at any of the polling locations.’
For those who work to help others cast their votes, a measure of success is how many of those show up to the polls.
“Your vote is your voice. You can get registered to vote, you can get educated on an issue, you can debate people on Facebook, you can do whatever you want, but if you don’t actually show up to the polls to vote, it doesn’t mean anything, you haven’t done anything,” said Janae Steggall, TxVotes Chair. ”Your political leaders don’t know what you think. The only way to hold people accountable to make change that you desire you have to get out and vote.”
Early voting takes place until Nov. 1st and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 2019.