Registered voters look ahead to March 1 primary

Forrest Milburn

All registered Texas voters can head to the polls to pick their preferred candidate in either primary during the early voting period, which starts Feb. 16.

The March 1 election day, also called Super Tuesday because of the 14 total states scheduled to vote, will be the final voting opportunity for Texas residents. These states will head to the polls after the four early states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — have made up their minds. 

While all of the early voting states have minimal delegate counts, Texas — at 155 for Republicans and 252 for Democrats — will be the biggest prize at this point in the primaries.

Government assistant professor Bethany Albertson said she sees Democratic students in Texas enthusiastically supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Republican students looking at Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“I think it will be interesting to see [a] strongly pro-Sanders student body, [and] how they experience a set of primaries that favor the other candidate,” Albertson said. “On the Republican side, I see students more enthusiastic about Cruz and Rubio.”

On Monday, campus organizations — including Hook the Vote, UT Votes and University Democrats — were out in front of Gregory Gymnasium registering last-minute voters. After the midnight deadline, the organizations had registered a total of more than 4,000 students throughout the semester, with 2,500 coming from that day alone.

“It definitely blew my expectations out of the water,” said Ashley Alcantara, Hook the Vote director and Plan II and international relations and global studies junior.

Public relations junior Catherine Horton, an undecided voter, said she registered last night with Hook the Vote because she wanted to be more civically engaged.

“We’re the ones who are going to be going out into the work force soon,” Horton said. “I feel like it’s important for us to be informed, so we can have a say in how our country works.”

Students will get the chance to vote at the FAC from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. when early voting starts. The early voting period will end on Feb. 26.

“Just like we saw a lot of people put off registering to the last day, a lot of people are going to wait until election day,” Alcantara said. “It makes it so much easier when students vote early, because it’s on campus and it’s all day.”