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How youth vote can impact upcoming elections

Sept. 20 is National Voter Registration Day and many students at UT Tyler will be voting for the first time.

TYLER, Texas — We are just 49 days away from the November general election and a group of college students at UT Tyler is trying to help new voters register.

Roshundra Bobie is the president of Upsilon Epsilon chapter of Delta Sigma Theta at UT Tyler, and they're encouraging first-time voters to register. 

"If you want things to change, and within your community, your state and your country, it is important for you to go out and vote. Exercise your opinion – tell your opinion," Bobie said. 

Election Day is where we make our vote count and our voices heard. But for many, it'll be their first time being able to express their interest through a ballot.

"The youth vote is one group that can be up for grabs. You know they are politically different," said LeTourneau University Political Science Professor Dr. John Barrett. "The older demographic has been reliable for the Republicans and so there is a question: if you get the youth to vote, is this a block that you can move towards the Democrats and make a race more competitive." 

This is why the youth vote is so crucial to both parties.

"Which of these purple people groups do they think they can actually motivate enough to tip the election if it were close," Barrett said. 

And it’s not just UT Tyler making an effort to get first-time eligible voters to register.

"Colleges from all across the nation participating in this day, so this is something we are excited to do," Bobie said. 

But no matter what way you plan on voting, the message stays the same.

"Don’t wait! This is the time. The time is now. Before November if you don’t register you can’t vote," Bobie said. 

"I encourage them to go out and vote because a lot of politics is intergenerational," Barrett said.

A few key dates to keep in mind are Nov. 8, which is Election Day and Oct. 11 is the final day people can register to vote.

RELATED: EAST TEXAS ELECTION EXPERTS: November 8 election races, early voting locations and times

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