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Students gather to watch the election results in real time

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Mary Margaret DeWitt, secondary history education freshman, Francis Naranjo, radiology junior, Shakira Hernandez, chemistry and psychology sophomore, Yesenia Duarte, dental hygiene sophomore, and Abbey Burner, business sophomore, watching the election results in the Legacy Multipurpose Room Nov. 6.

Mary Margaret DeWitt, secondary history education freshman, Francis Naranjo, radiology junior, Shakira Hernandez, chemistry and psychology sophomore, Yesenia Duarte, dental hygiene sophomore, and Abbey Burner, business sophomore, watching the election results in the Legacy Multipurpose Room Nov. 6.

Taking advantage of an educational opportunity to witness the election results, students attended an election watch party in the Legacy Multipurpose Room Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.

“As college students, everything that’s happening in this election affects all of you,” Linda Veazey, associate professor of political science, said. “[For example] how much student loan or pell grants are available. Congress is who created things like the pell grant program.”

The event was hosted by Veazey and Syreeta Green, director of equity, inclusion and multicultural affairs.

“I think it’s an educational opportunity,” Steve Hilton, associate professor of art, said. “I’ve been watching the polls close for 30 years and there’s always something interesting to watch. There’s always something that you might learn from how you vote and why we vote the way we do as a country.”

Veazey said while she thinks voting is important, she also understands that it can be difficult for some students.

“For people who weren’t registered to vote here in Wichita Falls [we taught them] how to request an absentee ballot,” Veazey said. “That’s a form you have to fill out by mail, send in, then you have to get your ballot and send it in [too]. If you’re going to vote you had to know where to vote. I think that everybody should vote, but I also realize that it’s hard.”

The watch party was scheduled until 10:30 p.m., but all but two students, Markell Braxton-Johnson, sports and leisure studies senior, and Herbert McCullough, political science graduate, left shortly after the news broke that Ted Cruz secured his position in the election for Senate.

“For me, the important thing of voting is not picking a winner or a loser,” Markell said. “It is to remain engaged in the political views of the country, the state, or city and so on. Voting is important because, ideally, you understand what’s going on around you.”

Additional student thoughts on whether voting matters to them:

Shakira Hernandez, chemistry and psychology sophomore

“If it comes down to 88.9 or 88.8 I’d like to think I’m that one point that makes it 0.9.”

Markell Braxton-Johnson, sports and leisure studies senior

“The smaller the political office I think my vote matters more. Living in a deep red state, people of the lefts vote doesn’t matter as much as it would in other states, but whether it matters or not it’s still important to put on this facade of democratic duty.”

Evan Wood, computer science senior

“It really doesn’t matter whether you think your candidate is going to get beat down hard, you should still vote anyway because you’re giving a voice to the people. You’re telling them what the people at that particular time want and if people see from the last election that this candidate got 8 percent as compared to say, 4 percent in the election before that one, that shows a trend. That shows that it’s gaining momentum, and for that reason it’s important to vote even if you think your candidate is going to lose. The fact that Beto is going to give Ted Cruz a challenge tonight really shows that Texas is starting to become a swing state.”

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Students gather to watch the election results in real time