Voting

Higher Ed: Taking Skills Learned In The Classroom To The Voting Booth

One reason often cited by non-voters for their lack of participation goes something like this: “my vote doesn’t really count” or “how can my one vote make any difference?” Voter turnout among college-aged students is traditionally low in midterm election years. But this year is shaping up to be different. In this episode of KUT’s podcast “Higher Ed,” Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT’s Jennifer Stayton discuss how to sustain that interest even when national politics are not so charged.

Ed believes that getting voting-aged students to the polls is half the battle. The other half? Making sure they are informed voters.

“You just don’t want to have voters going in there and taking out a die and rolling it and then whatever it lands on that’s how you feel on the issue or who you decide to vote for,” says Ed.  He hopes that voters will not make their voting decisions only influenced by “sound bites or 160 characters or generic Facebook posts where we don’t even know exactly where they’re actually emanating from.”

Ed believes that student can and should take the “best practices” of learning they have acquired in classrooms over the years and apply that to the act of voting.

“Articulate what are the issues that matter to you, that are important to you,” says Ed. “And then for each one of them, try to explain why. Is it an emotional response? Is it a logical response? Am I responding because I don’t like the other side, or because I like this side?”

Ed believes that student can making voting a practice – part of the way they live their lives – by getting interested and engaged early.

Listen to the full episode to hear more about using skills honed in the classroom to make decisions in the voting booth. The puzzler is taking a break for a little while to make way for some lighter riddles. These first two are pretty easy; see if you can get them right away.

This episode was recorded on Oct. 30, 2018.

Texas Standard: October 30, 2018

It’s election season: do you know who you’re casting your ballot for? Are you sure? We’ll take a look at reports of problems with voting machines statewide. Also, the White House calls for more than 5,000 active duty troops to be sent to the border to intercept a so-called migrant caravan, and their mission doesn’t seem so much backup as front lines. We’ll have the latest. Also, the president announces a plan to end birthright citizenship. Can he do that on his own? We’ll take a closer look. Plus flares in the field: why oil companies may be underreporting. All that and then some today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 22, 2018

Early voting gets underway across the Lone Star State and more Texans are registered than ever. But are they actually voting? We’ll check in on how early voting is going as Texans begin casting ballots in the much anticipated midterms. Plus a primer on early voting should you plan to cast a ballot. Plus a Texas filmmaker revisits Molly and Ann: what two of the most famous and politically restless Texans could teach us about how to do politics today. And what impact could the Khashoggi affair have on Texas energy? All that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 12, 2018

Turkey says it has tapes of the murder and torture of a Washington Post columnsit at the hands of the Saudis. How should the U.S. respond? The disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is creating geopolitical ripples, as Turkey works with U.S. officials over the Khashoggi affair, and this morning, orders the release of a U.S. pastor detained there. Also, counting casulaties in the wake of Hurricane Michael: after Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, why the numbers don’t seem to add up. Plus, the week in politics with the Texas Tribune and much more. No matter where you are, it’s Texas Standard time.

Midterms

As newscasters and other political junkies are fond of pointing out, only a few weeks remain until November’s midterm elections. And fewer reamin until the deadline to register to vote. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: September 5, 2018

A Texas federal courtroom is once again the stage for a legal challenge that could have enormous, nationwide impact. We’ll explain. Also this week marks a full year since Amazon started the search for a second headquarters. Dallas and Austin are on the shortlist, but what’s next? We’ll check in. And a woman held in slavery makes a new life for herself by posing as a man and signing up to be a soldier. The true story behind a new novel. Plus it’s campaign season and politicians are making claims about their opponents. We’ll fact-check one about holding town hall meetings. And Texans have long been taught to remember the Alamo, but what do we know about the defenders in that battle? We’ll dig in to some demographics. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 8, 2018

A bunch of attorneys shined up their shoes this morning, they’re heading to court to for Texas v Nielsen, we’ll look at the details. Plus, Houston cops are learning to speak Mandarin, hoping to fill a huge void. And I know you’ve heard about Mexico’s drug war, but you’ve never heard it this way? A new book called Don’t Send Flowers from Corpus Christi and a woman on a quest to hear what it means to live in a black body. Plus, 8 hour lines at the DMV?? Weren’t super centers supposed to fix those? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 28, 2018

The end of Rowe versus Wade? Not so fast say a Texas law scholar and a former law clerk to retiring Justice Kennedy, we’ll explore. And conventional wisdom has it that Kennedy’s likely successor on the court will be an ideological opponent of the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision. But in the end, such a challenge might not turn on Kennedy’s successor, we’ll hear why. And first it was bags, but now that Texas bag bans have been trashed in a court challenge, the spotlight turns to plastic straws, we’ll take a look at the latest. Also, digital savant Omar Gallaga with summer tech for kids. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 26, 2018

Another Trump Administration official in the hot seat today after a slew of bad press. One who’s avoided negative attention? Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, we’ll explore. Also, the largest school district in Texas in turmoil? No permanent leader at the top and facing a potential state takeover. What’s going on with Houston ISD? Plus, you upgrade your TV or your phone but what do you do with the old stuff? Recommendations from our resident tech expert. And what the devil is devil sauce? We’ll take a little jaunt through BBQ history. We’ll also explore the history of a Texas town often overshadowed by the likes of the Alamo and a whole lot more on today’s Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 4, 2018

April 4th 1968: a date that changed America. 50 years on, how do texans remember the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.? Two weeks before, a choir from Prairie View A&M performed before Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel where King was assassinated. 50 years later, we talk with the leader of that choir and his brother who led a reenactment of the event in Memphis. Also, the only African American owned bank in all of Texas expands to Atlanta. We’ll hear about the history of the bank and why they’re moving beyond Texas borders. And a ruling in a challenge to Texas motor voter laws. Those stories and so much more today at the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 6, 2018

Worst deal ever! That’s what candidate Trump called NAFTA. Now putting steel tariffs on the table, could Trump tilt the scales? We’ll explore. Also, it’s primary day in Texas, we’ll have the latest. And are today’s doctors dinosaurs? The head of the new UT medical school in Austin says they’re definitely an endangered species, we’ll hear why. And when companies breaking ties with the NRA and taking stands in the culture wars, smart business? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 5, 2018

There’s Abbot and Valdez and White and who else? What does it take to make a mark in a contest like this? We’ll have details. Also, With just hours to go before primary day: gimme 5 takeaways: the university of Houston’s Brandon Rottinghaus on the big themes going into Tuesday. And 3-2-1-will we ever see liftoff by SpaceX in south Texas? We’ll have the view from the launch pad. And not since the days of sputnik: a milestone for a major Texas export. Hank Hill would be proud. All those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 27, 2018

Turnout looks up at the polls and some political rallies draw big crowds. But what does excitement about the primaries really mean for election results? We’ll explore. Also, there’s been a lot said about more women running for office and more minorities. Today a look at what veterans could bring to the race. Plus federal legislation on sex trafficking is getting some pushback from technology companies. Why they’re concerned about culpability. And another delay on DACA: It’s continued protection from deportation for those enrolled in the program but also continued uncertainty. What all the back and forth could be doing to their health. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 21, 2018

Some momentum behind tightened accountability for firearm background checks. The top Texas Republican who now seems to be at least partially on board. Also, early voting is underway. The first choice those heading to the polls will have to make is which party’s primary to vote in. Why crossover voting isn’t all that common. Plus, Texas coastal cities still cleaning up from Hurricane Harvey are also looking ahead to mitigating the damage of the next storm. Why folks in Corpus Christi are concerned. And it’s been 25 years since the siege at a Branch Davidian complex outside of Waco. What law enforcement learned from that deadly encounter. Plus a profile of a man known as “the Galveston Giant.” Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 19, 2018

The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune team up to tell us which politicians are ahead on the polls, we’ll have the latest. Also, is OPEC bringing in more members to better control oil prices? We’ll Explore the role of Historically Black Colleges and speak to the film-maker. Plus comfort food has a whole other meaning to families in poverty, we tell you why. And the art of Arturo Torres is putting Garland on the map, we’ll explain. Also, it’s president’s Day! And early voting starts tomorrow, be sure to Wear your red white and blue all week! Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 7, 2017

A failure to communicate: the air force says it failed to pass along information that might have foiled the Sutherland springs shooter. As the world finally learns more about the people killed and injured in Southerland Springs on Sunday. Also what happens next for the community? This hour, we’ll hear from the leader of another Texas church also shattered by a mass shooting almost 20 years ago. And it’s election day across Texas. At stake, billions of dollars for Texas schools. But are Texans paying attention? And why the 2004 attack on Sadr city resonates to this day. Martha Raddatz on the series the long road home. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Political Bumper Stickers

Pundits may argue about whether political bumper stickers have any impact on the way people vote. But you would probably agree that seeing those stickers – well, some stickers – on a car in front of you can provoke strong feelings. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: November 1, 2017

Governor Abbott goes hat in hand to capitol hill asking for billions in Harvey relief. What’s he brining back? We’ll have the latest. Also, you’ve heard about players not standing for the anthem at football games? Two high school students in Houston, both 17, refuse to participate in the pledge of allegiance. They say they’re being harassed at school because of it and now, there’s a federal case, we’ll hear about it. And why the selection of a Texan to the EPA science board has lots of environmentalists alarmed. Plus, a start up for startups, and the Japanese American soldiers who became Texas heroes. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard: