Dallas is All Like, 'Voting, Why Bother?'

Categories: News, Politics

your_vote_counts_button_3.jpeg
... symbolically speaking.
Turns out, the people of Dallas don't care much for voting -- Dallas County ranked fourth in the state (out of 254 counties) for the fewest ballots cast among voting-age people. Even Harris County had a slightly better turnout, which unfortunately means the Asshole of the Universe, has us beat at something, but narrowly.

Fewer than 8 percent of Dallasites cast a ballot, according to a neat little graphic map created by Texas Tribune -- that's compared with an 11.1 percent turnout across the state.

But why, we wondered, was Dallas' turnout so abysmal? Could it be that we're too cool to vote? Too busy and important? Too caught up with other probably less-important things?

Not really, according to Mark Jones, chair of the department of political science at Rice University. As a county, we're just too young, too poor and too un-white to have a rockstar voter turnout. Jones gave Unfair Park a breakdown.

"The wealthier you are, and the more educated you are, and the older you are, you turn out to vote more," he said.

Also, the 7.7 percent Dallas turnout represents the voters of the voting-age population, but doesn't account for undocumented immigrants who would not be eligible to vote. They can slightly tip the scales. Couple that with the fact that Dallas leans more strongly Democratic than most other counties and that the main voting attraction was the Republican Senate race. And there you have it: hardly any voters.

"I think you see higher turnout in many rural counties," Jones says. "They're older on average, and they have a higher number of Anglos. And many of them are Republican."

In advance of this year's primaries, Jones penned a Houston Chronicle editorial urging people to vote and explaining that in Texas, more often than not, the primaries determine the candidate. Primary voters (re: one in 10 Texans) "call the shots." Yet three times as many people vote in the general election -- and it jumps to four or five times in a presidential election year.

In the Texas general elections this year, Jones estimates that two of 36 state House races will be competitive, and about one in 36 Senate races. Voting in the general election will for the most part "be symbolic throughout the state," he says.

So either vote in the July 31 runoffs, settle for symbolism in November or go ahead and embrace your apathy.


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11 comments
donkey_kong.2010
donkey_kong.2010

I love how white society has made people of color believe that racism doesn't exist;


They get them to believe that being 'racist' is "bad" , when it is actually PREJUDICE 

that is "bad" or wrong.  

- Nothing wrong with helping your fellow colored man.  It's only wrong if you're 

HATING other races. 


Meanwhile.... the brainwashed minorities, who are "not racist" end up voting 

for white people; or they allow them to stay in office, 

rather than put someone in office that will help the cause. 


It's so wrong to talk about it, isn't it.

Marcus D Cunningham
Marcus D Cunningham

I wouldn't compare us to Iraq...a more appropriate comparison would be to the EU countries, which all have consistently higher turnout and what appears to be a higher concern for who's governing. But yeah, I agree with you about campaign finance and it's effect of voters. However, apathy has been an issue for a long time.

Urbandweller203
Urbandweller203

Most politician are corrupt because they lack the fundamental character of honesty. The problem is, by not voting we allow them to stay in office. When people do vote, they vote to keep corrupt politican in a position of leverage.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Not sure about that.  The voter turnout in Iraq was significantly higher than ours, but I don't think anybody would say we are more corrupt. The corruption comes from campaign finance laws, not voter apathy.  Voter apathy also probably comes from campaign finance laws, ironically.

Mary in Dallas
Mary in Dallas

Texasdave60, I hope you realize that once you're "off paper" you will be eligible to vote again.

Mary in Dallas
Mary in Dallas

Omar, and anyone else who wants to increase voter participation, OFA (Organizing for America) holds phone banks, voter registration events, and/or door-to-door canvassing every week.  To join or to get more info, call 512-656-9616 for the Dallas area director.

David
David

I was registering (via the League of Women Voters) Latinos ALL DAY today! Didn't see LULAC or any other so-called "progressive" groups out there.  If non-white, poor, young people are sick & tired of the apartheid type system we have (all the control in the hands of rich white people), then register to vote, and VOTE!!

Guest
Guest

Every weekend, many of us are there at all kinds of events registering voters.  Let me know if you want to help.  We are always looking for bi-lingual volunteers.

Texasdave60
Texasdave60

Sorry Omar.  I am a convicted felon on parole so I can't vote in Texas.  But I do pay taxes.  THAT is what guarantees my right to bitch.  I may not be able to participate in the selection process, but I can - and sure as hell do - let my representatives know what I expect from them.

Marcus D Cunningham
Marcus D Cunningham

I assume you mean the rhetorical You, because I'm good. Second, politicians are only corrupt to the point that we allow. If voter turnout was consistently high, they wouldn't have the flexibility to be corrupt.

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