Greenhill Students Take to the Polls

Helina Tedros

About eight million Texans flocked to the polls to vote in the gubernatorial election this past month.

This number does not account for the percentage of Texans that were unable to vote due to the complicated process that is applying for an absentee ballot. Greenhill students and alumni alike were unable to cast their vote due to the complex process.

Chloe Merriman ‘22 requested her absentee ballot with plenty of time but did not receive any notice or a word about it. When election day drew closer, she began to understand that she would never receive it.

“I sent in my request for a ballot around mid-October, and I waited for around 2 weeks for it. When November came, and my ballot wasn’t showing up, I was really confused. I had followed all the steps correctly and felt disappointed when it became clear it wasn’t going to show up in time, or at all,” said Chloe Merriman.

Her older sister, Emma Merriman ‘20, helped her access the link which Chloe Merriman used to start the process.

Unlike Chloe Merriman, Emma Merriman was able to obtain her ballot and mail it in successfully. Chloe Merriman, on the other hand, realized the connection between not receiving her ballot and voter suppression.

“My roommate, a politics major, expressed how it was strange I never got my ballot and said that it could be voter suppression either because I’m in New York or only because of my age,” said Chloe Merriman.

Senior Ela Mamdani was also unable to vote in this election due to a mailing issue. Mamdani recently turned 18 in August, so that is when she registered to vote. She mailed in her request, but like Chloe Merriman, never received any notice that it was received.

“Every vote matters. I know that one vote is one vote. But if everybody thinks that way, then that adds up. And if everybody’s like, yes, my vote matters. It adds up. So I think people should not think, it doesn’t matter if I vote because it then creates a toxic cycle,” said Mamdani.

Isabella Serrano ‘22 also did not receive her absentee ballot. Serrano’s case is different because she requested it in early September and strongly believes that she should have received it, barring a post office issue.

“I think that the outcome of the election in Texas might have been different had all of the college students from Texas received their mail-in ballots because the majority of the people from Texas at Boston University or other colleges never received their ballots,” said Serrano.

Voter suppression has developed into a hot-button topic ever since the 2020 presidential election. Many Greenhill students seem to be directly affected by it and unable to vote because of it.