Low Voter Turnout in Texas
Low Voter Turnout in Texas
Voting is an important part of citizen responsibility and most of the citizens do not take this seriously. However, some other voters take it seriously and go on to vote and elect their leaders. Of all the states of America including the district of Colombia, the lowest voter turn out has been recorded in Texas. This can be attributed to different issues which have taken place and which forms part of the history of the Texas state. Therefore, it is an important thing that the voter turnout is increased and different people and organizations have tried to increase the voter turn out with not fruits. This can be attributed to some fixed factors which cannot be changed. This paper discusses the issue of low voter turnout in the state of Texas, how this has affected the voting process and the cause of the low turnout as well as the different ways which this can be rectified and make sure that every individual who has attained voting age has the ability to vote and choose their leaders instead of just sitting at home when it is time to vote.
One of the many reasons why most Texans do not vote is the question of whether voting really matters and this lack of political efficacy makes it very difficult for the voters to change what they think needs to be changed. This is because with voting or no voting some things remain the same for the people and this includes things like trash pick-up fee which has remained the same and in the case of the state of Texas on the lower side. Therefore, some individuals who observe these issues and even other which politicians do not have a direct or the power to change decide not to vote at all because even if they vote the thinking or the mentality is that everything will remain the same. Therefore because of this, most of the individuals do not really vote and leave things as they are. However, this is not the only reason as to why Texans do no vote.
Other factors are the major parties dominating the state of Texas at different times and this had a negative impact on the state of Texas. For example, from the time of civil war the democratic party dominated the state of Texas and this made the people belief that every time there was a voting process it was going to remain the same that a democratic candidate was going to win and therefore this became very difficult for the people to trust the system could change. Therefore, most of the individuals stopped voting due to this reason. However, after a while the political wave changed and it favored the republican party since the 1990s. from the 1990s therefore it means that most of the Texans were not able to vote since every time they want to vote they remember that it is a republican who will win and therefore the motivation to vote gets lost.
Another reason why it is very difficult for most of the people in Texas to vote is the voters eligibility. The first and most important thing under this is that anyone within America who is not American cannot vote. This therefore makes the population which can vote less since some of them are not American even though they are in the state of Texas legally. Other are in the state of Texas illegally and this serves as an outright reason why they cannot vote. Children are also not allowed to vote and this affects Texas a lot since it has children covering more than a fourth of the total population. By children it means the population which has not yet attained the voting age of 18 years. After removing the population which cannot vote the voting population which remains is referred to as voting-eligible population (VEP). This population is low in Texas and therefore this accounts for the reason why it is very difficult to have Texas being on the top list of those states which vote highly.
Apart from the above-mentioned factors things like demography and socio-economic status also plays a very significant role in determining who votes and who does not vote. Firstly, older people are more likely to vote than younger people and this puts the young population at a place whereby their votes cannot be much dependable and because of this, the state continues to go down in the list of those who vote from the state (Cortina, & Rottinghaus, 2021). The other issue is that the native Texans are more likely to vote than immigrants from other states. This also puts the state of Texas down in the list of high voting states. Other factors like English proficiency are an important part which determines if the voters vote highly or rather come out in large numbers (Cortina, & Rottinghaus, 2019). Those with English proficiency are likely to vote more and better while those less in English proficiency are likely not to vote or just in low numbers.
The other very important determinant of the voter turnout are the rules in place regarding voting and the may verification processes. This puts citizens through unnecessary scrutiny and because of this most of the individuals do not undergo the process and give up (Morrow, 2015). On the other side it becomes too expensive to undergo all the verification processes and there is a lot of spending on the elections which is considered unnecessary (Cortina, & Rottinghaus, 2021). One of such ways of verification is the photo verification method. This means that according to the law any Texan was not allowed to vote unless they shown their photo, however this law was blocked by Obama government alongside other states which had come up with similar laws. This was a way to prevent imper-personification of the voters and increase transparency but it was considered too much.
Therefore, based on these factors it is clear that the low voter turnout has been in existence for a specific reason and this is a problem when it comes to the general united states elections since it is below the average voter turnout of the United States.
There have been many measures to increase voter turn out and one of the ways which has succeeded is the automatic voter registration. This means that when a person turns 18 they are automatically registered and this is done mainly using the drivers license. Even though this has been considered controversial for most of the part it has worked and there is seemingly a change in the voters which is being noticed (Cortina, & Rottinghaus, 2019). Help America Vote Act of 2002 was also an instrumental law which was passed and it has since then helped the voters very much as well as the states deal with problems which arise as a result of low voter turnout or other complications which arise during the voting process and period.
In conclusion, Texas has had a long history in regards to the manner in which voter turn out has been experienced. Even though it has been negative, there are efforts to end the low voter turnout and there are some goo positive results being seen. This gives hope that everything will be fine soon and a state of balance will be noticed.
Cortina, J., & Rottinghaus, B. (2019). Vote centers and turnout by election type in Texas. Research & Politics, 6(3), 2053168019864224.
Cortina, J., & Rottinghaus, B. (2021). “The quiet revolution”: convenience voting, vote centers, and turnout in Texas elections. Politics, Groups, and Identities, 1-21.
Morrow, S. (2015). Causes of low voter turnout of the hispanic population in southwest Texas (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University).