Minor vote, major decision - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Minor vote, major decision

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - What if you're old enough to vote for alcohol, but not quite old enough to drink it. It's a situation this historic alcohol election brings up. NewsChannel 11 took that scenario to a state and local government class at Texas Tech Wednesday to get some perspective. It's a scenario that isn't entirely new, and yet very unique to the circumstances surrounding the upcoming alcohol election.

The reason 18-year-olds can vote dates back to the Vietnam War. "If young men were able to fight for our country they should be able to vote for the leaders that send them to fight," says Political Science Professor Dr. Cynthia Rugeley. While this is an entirely different set of circumstances it still poses a similar scenario you can vote for it, but you can't drink it. Dr. Rugeley says it's rather unusual to be voting for something you don't get the benefit of. "On the other hand as several students pointed out, this is when the election is and three years from now, many of them will still be in Lubbock," says Dr. Rugeley. In a lively class discussion, students expressed all sides of the argument for and against.

It's not just college students that have a say, LISD has 1200 students who are of age to vote. "I'm 18, and I can't drink so it doesn't matter," says Kyle Joiner, a high school senior. "I think it will be a good thing for the community. If you want to drink and you can you will," says Monterey Senior Jake Sanders.

Dr. Rugeley says this election depends on voter turnout. "It's not as simple for college students or 18 year olds to vote...it takes effort," she says. So does this demographic make a difference? Every vote counts and according to the county elections office there are 6,000 registered voters between the ages of 18 and 20. They make up four percent of the total number of registered voters in Lubbock County

The County Elections Office says they will not know exactly how many 18-20 year olds are registered to vote until the deadline for registration passes which is Thursday April 9th.  

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Lubbock County Liquor Sales Map
Liquor by the drink boundary and packaged liquor sales map for Lubbock County. (You will need Adobe Acrobat to open this file)

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