Permian Basin’s growing youth population urged to vote on Nov. 7

Permian Basin’s growing youth population urged to vote on Nov. 7

“Your vote counts” is the phrase of the week as elections officials across Texas urge citizens to make their voices heard in the upcoming constitutional amendment election on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The message may be directed at all voters, but officials and advocates have been particularly focused on encouraging higher rates of voting among youth, a group that is growing in numbers in the Permian Basin but that hasn’t historically shown up at the polls in large numbers, especially in non-presidential elections.

In the 2022 midterm elections, the youth turnout rate (ages 18-29) in Texas was 21.5 percent, a reduction from the 25.8 percent turnout rate in the 2018 midterms, according to data from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).

The League of Women Voters has been among the organizations looking to increase youth voting rates. In the first six months of 2023, the League said it hosted nearly 1,000 events and registered over 19,000 youth in U.S. high schools, community colleges, technical and vocational schools and other youth-serving areas.

“League volunteers have continuously found that utilizing youth leadership gets students more engaged and excited about voting and elections,” the organization states.

With Nov. 3 marking the last day of early voting, all citizens, young and old, still have a chance to make their voices heard at the polls, which open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. statewide on Nov. 7.

To find out if you are registered to vote, and where to cast your vote, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s easy-to-use “Am I Registered” portal. For residents of New Mexico, go here.

Listen to this story at 2 pm daily via the Recording Library of West Texas