Texas ballot measures show low turnout throughout the state
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.”
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.
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."
- The Facts, "Ballot measures deserve better turnout," October 29, 2009
- Texas Secretary of State, "Election Night Returns," November 5, 2009
- Allbusiness.com, "Early voter turnout low for constitutional amendment election," October 31, 2009
- KTRE9, "Election day is here and voter turnout is low," November 3, 2009
- Texas Secretary of State, "Election Night Returns for Zavala County," November 5, 2009