Texas ballot measures show low turnout throughout the state

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November 19, 2009

Texas: Texas voters saw 11 ballot measures on November 3, 2009, with topics ranging from eminent domain to education to veterans affairs. Apparently, that didn’t catch the eyes, ears, or lever hands of Texas voters. According to the Secretary of State’s website, no amendment saw more than 8.14% of registered voters in the state of Texas decide on it. The measure with the lowest turnout was Proposition 5, with only 7.85% of registered voters voting on the issue. In Brazoria County, an editorial by TheFacts.com stated: “The Texas Secretary of State’s Office didn’t exactly have the highest of expectations for the Nov. 3 election, predicting overall turnout of between 3 and 4 percent. Voters in Brazoria County are meeting expectations, which in this case isn’t a good thing.”[1][2]

Even before the elections, most Texas newspapers predicted a low voter turnout, as constitutional amendments in the state historically show small numbers. According to Allbusiness.com, in Hidalgo County, Election Administrator Yvonne Ramon stated the low turnout is typical for amendment elections, and the county was “on par” with most counties throughout the state in the early voter returns.[3]

In Angelina County, Election Administrator Thelma Sherman reported during Election Day that at one point, only 844 people had voted, with the county holding 46,600 registered voters. Sherman stated a frustration with the dismal numbers due to the hard work and money put in to hold the elections. According to Sherman: "It takes as much to put on a small election as it does to put on a big election and with all the electronic equipment and the cost to have staff to work the polling places."[4]

Voting numbers were almost non-existent in Zavala County, as the no proposition hit over the 2% mark. The lowest for the county was Proposition 2, which yielded a mere 1.79% of registered voters.[5]

See also

Ballotpedia News
* Texas 2009 ballot measures