Students fight for early voting site

Students looking to vote early during the March primaries will not be able to vote at UTSA.

On Thursday, Jan. 30, student organization MOVE (Mobilize, Organize, Vote, Empower) started a petition to make UTSA a voting site for the primary elections. The petition amassed 690 signatures but was closed after MOVE received notice from UTSA that the university did not have the capacity to house an early primary election site.

“It was such a tight window that we had to plan this,” Assistant Director of Student Activities for Student Leadership John Montoya said. UTSA had not considered applying to be an early voting location for the primary election because students had not voiced a desire in advance. Montoya, however, counts the petition as a success because “students’ voices were still heard.”

UTSA has traditionally been an early voting location for general elections but has yet to offer voting on campus for primary elections.

The County Commissioner’s Office has the final say on which applicants are approved to be voting sites however, according to Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities Barry McKinney, the Office of External Affairs is in charge of requesting and coordinating voting on campus.

In order to facilitate civic engagement among students, who may not have access to off-campus locations, the Student Government Association will sponsor a shuttle to take students from UTSA to the Igo Library polling site, which is located off of Hausman Rd.

MOVE-UTSA President Viktoria Zerda explained that the petition to make UTSA an early voting location was intended to make voting accessible to students. “We understand the challenge of juggling school, work, internships and more. There should be no reason as to why any students cannot make it to a poll, especially due to a lack of time or resources.”