Texans voted on 10 proposed amendments of the Texas Constitution that ranged from allowing increased distributions to the available school fund to funding cancer research on Tuesday. However, some students did not know about the proposed amendments and wished it was advertised better, so they could participate in voting.
“I did not know about these amendments,” Grant Farmer, a freshman political science major from Fort Worth, said. “Without [being interviewed], I would have never known about them. I think that shows how campus doesn’t really take a big part in helping inform the students about politics in our modern world.”
In Farmer’s political science class, the students learned about what the Texas Constitution says and the history behind it. They learned that it is very detailed and democratic. Through the class, Farmer was able to form his own opinion that could have voiced if he knew about the proposed amendments.
“I do believe the Texas Constitution is outdated, but I don’t believe that it should be modeled like the U.S. Constitution,” Farmer said. “Texas has its own specific problems that I believe the constitution should focus on. We are such a large and fast-moving state that I think it should be modeled around putting our interests first.”
Some students did know about the proposed amendments.
Braunfels, went home to vote. “I did know about the propositions,” Moya said. “I didn’t see anything advertised on campus but have had conversations with my peers and professors about them.
I’m sure that advertisements would help make more aware about constitutional votes, but I also know very few people actually show up to vote for constitutional propositions and college students are generally apathetic about voting to begin with.”
Moya’s opinion on college students voting is that it is an important privilege and obligation to do so. However, she believes it is important to be well informed before participating.
“It’s also important to be informed with well-rounded information from unbiased sources or at least sources that admit their biases,” Moya said. “I would suggest if someone isn’t informed well, then their voting can’t be done well. My hope is that more people ultimately vote, but they do so in an informed manner.”
School of Honors Director and Political Science Professor Dr. Michael Tkacik encourages students to get involved in voting and to join an interest group that represents their beliefs.
“I think you absolutely must be involved with politics because politics is ‘who gets what, when, and how,’” Tkacik said. “And, if you’re not involved, I promise you someone else is taking advantage of you. One of the reasons students have been saddled with high college costs is that they’re not involved in politics. So, politicians take money from higher education and give it to other groups that are more involved. If you’re not involved in politics, someone is hurting you, and you probably don’t even know it. As to ways [to get involved], clearly voting is a start.”
However, it is not just students who are unaware of the proposed amendments. According to ABC 13 Eyewitness News in Houston, experts say Texans are too focused on the 2020 election to be aware of what is happening right now.
“It seems people are very focused on 2020, and the city elections are flying under the radar a little bit,” political analyst Nancy Sims said.