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Early voting for the primary ends Friday

MICHELLE ESPINOZA/THE RIDER

Early voting for the March 1 primary election continues this week on the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Edinburg campus.

Early balloting takes place from 7 a.m.to 7 p.m. today through Friday at the Student Union Commons. Voters must show one of the seven forms of photo identification listed on votetexas.gov at the polling site.

On the Brownsville campus, early voting ended last Friday.

Angel Saavedra, a political science assistant professor, said voting is important because “it is a democratic exercise and we are showing that we are engaged as members in this democracy, that we want to participate in choosing who gets to govern us.”

Saavedra said early voting offers the flexibility to vote at precincts that might not be a voter’s designated poll site as long as the voter is registered in that county.

“It reduces the barriers,” he said, such as missing work on March 1.

Saavedra suggested how students can be better informed about politics and voting.

“I’d say read the news and I mean read,” he said. “If you have access to the Houston Chronicle, read the Houston Chronicle. If you want to read The Monitor, read the monitor. There is also the RGV Guardian. There is other sources that they can look at, but you have to be informed.”

Yvonne Ramon, Hidalgo County elections administrator, said that as of Thursday, 663 people had cast early votes on the Edinburg campus: 567 for the Democratic Party and 96 for the Republican.

Remi Garza, Cameron County elections administrator, said a total of 244 people had voted on the Brownsville campus, with 201 votes cast for the Democratic Party and 43 for the Republican Party.

Victoria Paiz, an anthropology and psychology sophomore, said she encourages people, especially students, to vote.

“If there is one thing you should do as an American is to vote; help choose your nation’s leader,” Paiz said. “I went into that line and it took me five minutes to get up here to vote. I would encourage students to come by.”

Alvin Garza, a communication senior,reflected on why people don’t vote and points out the importance of early voting.

“Obviously, like the stigma says, that if you vote it doesn’t really matter,” Garza said. “I think that is what a lot people think though. But no matter how little a vote seems to you, it does really matter in the big picture and you are still getting your voice out there.”

He said people complain about what is going on with education and taxes but don’t do anything about it.

“So, coming out here to vote really shows that we are trying to do something,” Garza said.

The university will not be a polling site on March 1.For more information on early voting, visit votetexas.gov.

For information on early voting in Hidalgo county, visit https://tx-hidalgocounty.civicplus.com/index.aspx?nid=105 or call (956) 318-2576.

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