With the first presidential election since 2012 just around the corner, many Del Mar College students will head to the ballot box for the first time. DMC has made it easy to beat the Feb. 1 deadline to register to vote in the Texas primaries.
“Some buildings at Del Mar College have voter registration application displays,” history professor James Klein said. “It takes about two minutes to fill out an application. Then, you can bring it to the courthouse or mail it.”
Colin Sykes (right) helps Del Mar student Matthew Martinez register to vote in the Harvin Center.
Klein and his wife, Teresa Klein, serve as deputy voter registers and will help students fill out the applications and bring the completed forms to the courthouse.
While some choose not to vote, it’s a privilege others look forward to.
“It is really hard for me to watch the elections knowing I can’t legally vote,” student Linda Garza said.
Garza is a residential alien, meaning she can’t vote or even call herself a citizen until she finishes the naturalization process.
“Voting is a privilege and it’s difficult knowing that I won’t be able to have a voice in what happens to the country I live in,” Garza said.
In Texas, primaries are held March 1, and May 24 is the scheduled primary runoff date. An individual must have been registered to vote by April 25 to be eligible to vote in the runoff election.
“Voting gives each of us a voice in our local, state and national government,” Klein said. “In 2014, 31 percent of registered voters in Nueces County voted — more than two-thirds had no voice. We need to change that if our representative democracy is going to survive.”