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Thoughts about local elections

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#1 johnfwd


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Posted 07 June 2013 - 08:38 AM

I know this is an old argument but...why can't local elections combine several races and important constitutional questions on a single ballot on a particular date to make it worthwhile for voters to go to the polls? I dropped in to early voting on that runoff election the other day and was told that I had nothing to vote on (the seat in play not in my precinct, I guess). Quite discouraging. Low voter turnout in local elections has been the norm but it needn't be.

#2 RD Milhollin

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:26 AM

I asked the same thing  awhile back, specifically about why local (mayor, council, school board) couldn't be combined with state house, senate, etc. The answer given was that the local races are supposed to be non-partisan, whereas state senate and house and the statewide races are purely partisan. I suppose it might be argued that having election day once a year would make it too easy to forget or otherwise miss the date, but I think that election day should be a holiday, that transit should run, that online voting options should be worked out, that voter's registrations should be incorporated into the state DL/ID card system... whatever it takes to get more people out to vote, and to become more interested and educated about the people and issues they have the right to vote for or against. 

#3 Russ Graham

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 03:36 PM

On the same topic, there was an article in the S.T. a couple of days ago about Texas being near-last in the country in terms of voter turnout.




Some of the theories for low turnout in the article:  "younger" demographic than the national average (and young people don't vote as much), a large immigrant population, who tend not to vote as much, and a history of being a one-party state.


My first election here was a bit of a shock when I realized there were no ballot initiatives to talk about & decide on.  Yes, direct democracy has its downside, but then again so does trusting everything to the TX Legislature...  a couple of good ballot initiative fights would sure increase the turnout.


It's kind of nice not having the mayor & council races determined by who claims the elephant mascot & who claims the donkey mascot.  So I can see keeping all the local elections separate from the state & national ones...


On the bright side, since we're at the bottom of the rankings, there's nowhere to go but "up".  So all those young non-voters are going to eventually become old voters. 

#4 hankjr



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Posted 08 June 2013 - 10:19 AM

sure would be nice if, long after the elections, the eye sore signs were removed.

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