Divisive issues bring students to cast ballots at Hughes-Trigg and nearby polls

Lively sounds of conversation and discussion filled the Hughes-Trigg Student Center early Tuesday morning as SMU students waited in line to cast their votes.

This on-campus polling booth attracted many first-time voters such as Lucy Pettit, a computer science and creative computing major at SMU.

“I guess this election feels more important than usual,” Pettit said. “I also felt like this being the first time I was eligible to vote, I should do it.”

Today, voters across the DFW area are stopping by one of the 462 locations in Dallas County to place their vote. However, polling booths on and near SMU’s campus such as Hughes-Trigg and Our Redeemer Lutheran Church have had short and sometimes non-existent lines.

The Hughes-Trigg Student Center at SMU is a polling hub this season for students and other citizens to cast their electoral votes.
The Hughes-Trigg Student Center at SMU is a polling hub this season for students and other citizens to cast their electoral votes.

According to county election reports, 27.5% of Dallas County voters voted early. Some voters like Hollie Leonard, a teacher at a local Dallas school, said that they cast their ballot Tuesday due to their busy schedules and the thrill of voting on election day.

Abortion, gun rights, healthcare, and the economy were some of the other major issues bringing voters to the poll Tuesday.

Mace Cowart, a 21-year-old SMU theater major, said that his experience being trans and queer has become more than just a part of his identity but also a political issue with getting access to health care out of state.

“I am already in a really privileged position to be upper middle class … so I think about those who are in a less privileged position than I am to not have access to those kinds of things,” Cowart said.

Voting will remain open through 7 p.m. Tuesday at all polls.