Those of you who have lived in Austin for a while have probably noticed our city’s recent growth. This year’s election, which will take place Nov. 4, will usher in a new governor for the first time since Rick Perry assumed that office upon George Bush’s resignation in December 2000.
The ballot will feature Republican State Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, both of whom were elected in the party primaries on March 4, as well as Libertarian Party candidate Kathie Glass and Green Party candidate Brandon Parmer.
Texas’ executive offices are up for grabs as well, as is a United States Senate seat and all 36 of Texas’ seats in the United States House of Representatives.
With early voting already underway, this week’s Forum page focuses on educating the University community about the two main gubernatorial candidates, with one piece from the College Republicans and another from the University Democrats. The page also discusses the role advertising has played in this election.
Texas has historically ranked in the bottom few states for voters turnout. A recent study by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin, for instance, showed that Texans are significantly less engaged in politics compared with other states. We ranked 42nd in voter registration, 49th in the number of citizens who contact public officials, 44th in the number of people who discuss politics a few times a week or more and last in voter turnout. While it’s easy to approach election season with apathy, it’s important to remember that being able to cast a vote in an election and have it count is not a privilege shared by all across the globe. It’s something unique and special, so I encourage you to vote in this upcoming election. Early voting ends Oct. 31.
Malik is a business honors, Plan II and finance senior from Austin.