The Texas Secretary of State’s office reported on Wednesday that 2.3% of registered voters in the state have so far voted before the Nov. 2 election. The turnout is down from the November 5, 2019 election, which stood at 2.9% in the first nine days of the early poll.
St. Edward’s University political science professor Brian Smith said voter turnout was historically the lowest in such elections, which typically do not include any presidential or nationwide candidates. ‘State. âConstitutional elections are not very exciting. They are very important, but not very exciting. They don’t have the famous candidates. There is no one on the ballot to really get us to vote.
Among the most populous counties in the state, the number of votes this year is down slightly in Harris (2.9%), Bexar (2.4%) and Collin (2.1%) counties , but significantly higher in Travis County, where turnout reached 5.7% on Wednesday. against 3.2% for the same period in 2019.
Smith says the higher turnout in the state capital is due to a local voting measure, Proposition A, which would force Austin to hire hundreds of additional police officers. The petition initiative is a response to the Austin City Council’s cut in law enforcement funding last year amid widespread protests against police brutality.
âWe actually see media spots on TV about it,â Smith said. “This is why Travis County, especially with early voting, is a little higher than the rest of the state because there is something to get voters to the polls.”
The statewide ballot includes eight amendments to the Texas Constitution. These include proposals stemming from public health restrictions imposed last year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Proposition 3 would prohibit state and local governments from âprohibiting or limiting religious services by religious organizationsâ. Proposal 6 would give residents of long-term care facilities the right to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visits. Other constitutional amendment proposals involve new eligibility requirements for court judges and tax exemptions.
The last day to vote early in person is Friday.
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