Minority voter turnout is lower than that for whites

  • Odessa College
  • GOVT 2306
  • Notes
  • cassec12
  • 15
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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 state has 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 PARTICIPATION political participation is taking part in activities that are related to governance Types and frequency of participation by American citizens o running for public office -- <1% o becoming active in political parties and campaigns -- 4-5% o contributing money to campaigns -- 10% o wearing a button or bumper sticker -- 15% o writing or calling a public official -- 17-20% o belonging to a political organization -- 30-33% o talking to others about politics -- 30-35% o voting -- 30-50% o not participating -- 30-45% Voting at national level is lower than in most other industrialized nations Participation in state politics is lower than at the national level and lowest at the local level Voter turnout in Texas ranks near the bottom (42nd to 46th) in both national and state elections B. VOTER TURNOUT IN TEXAS The two ways voter turnout can be expressed 1. The percentage of registered voters voting 2. The percentage of the voting population voting The preferred measure It discounts the variations in state voting requirements, thus comparing states on same basis Texas voting turnout is low In presidential and congressional elections from 1976 to 1994, Texas ranked from 42nd to 45 th 1998-Tx. ranked 46 th in percent of eligible voters registered to vote 1998-Tx. ranked 47 th in percent of eligible voters who go to the polls Voting turnout in elections held in November of odd-numbered years is often below 10 percent of the voting age population 18
Texas Government 2306—Unit 3 Lecture Notes Voting turnout in the March party primary elections may fall below 10 percent of the voting-age population Local election voter turnout (city council and school board elections), generally held in May, may be below 5 percent of the voting-age population C. FACTORS AFFECTING VOTER TURNOUT There are several factors affecting low voter turnout: The Texas traditionalistic/individualistic political culture discourages participation Texas's past legacy of restricted access to the ballot still impacts voter turnout Other social, economic, and political factors also contributed to the low voter turnout Similar to other southern states , Texas had a history of restrictive voter registration laws Actions by the federal government-- court decisions and federal laws-- removed most of these restrictions Three states have "same-day-voter registration: Maine, Minnesota, and Wyoming--all with moralistic or a combination of moralistic-individualistic political cultures

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