100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 2 - 4 out of 15 pages.
Texas is an additional factor impacting political participation. Minority voter turnout is lower than that for whites. Lastly, Texas's long tradition as a one-party Democratic statehas contributed to voter apathy and disinterest. As Texas slowly moves toward two-party status, voter turnout should increase. In time, the residual effects of the past restrictive practices will likely decline. As income and educational levels rise, and as immigration from other regions of the country by people from other political cultures continues, political participation will continue to increase. A. POLITICAL PARTICIPATIONpolitical participation is taking part in activities that are related to governanceTypes and frequency of participation by American citizensorunning for public office -- <1%obecoming active in political parties and campaigns -- 4-5%ocontributing money to campaigns -- 10%owearing a button or bumper sticker -- 15%owriting or calling a public official -- 17-20%obelonging to a political organization -- 30-33%otalking to others about politics -- 30-35%ovoting -- 30-50%onot participating -- 30-45%Voting at national level is lower than in most other industrialized nationsParticipation in state politics is lower than at the national level and lowest at the local levelVoter turnout in Texas ranks near the bottom (42nd to 46th) in both national and state electionsB. VOTER TURNOUT IN TEXASThe two ways voter turnout can be expressed1.The percentage of registered voters voting2.The percentage of the voting population votingThe preferred measureIt discounts the variations in state voting requirements, thus comparing states on same basisTexas voting turnout is lowIn presidential and congressional elections from 1976 to 1994, Texas ranked from 42nd to 45th1998-Tx. ranked 46thin percent of eligible voters registered to vote1998-Tx. ranked 47thin percent of eligible voters who go to the pollsVoting turnout in elections held in November of odd-numbered years is often below 10 percent of the voting age population18
Texas Government 2306—Unit 3 Lecture NotesVoting turnout in the March party primary elections may fall below 10 percent of the voting-age populationLocal election voter turnout (city council and school board elections), generally held in May, may be below 5 percent of the voting-age populationC.FACTORS AFFECTING VOTER TURNOUTThere are several factors affecting low voter turnout:The Texas traditionalistic/individualistic political culturediscourages participationTexas's past legacy of restricted access to the ballotstill impacts voter turnoutOther social, economic, and political factors also contributed to the low voter turnoutSimilar to other southern states, Texas had a history of restrictive voter registration lawsActions by the federal government--court decisions and federal laws--removed most of these restrictionsThree states have "same-day-voter registration: Maine, Minnesota, and Wyoming--all with moralistic or a combination of moralistic-individualistic political cultures