Elections in odd-numbered years rarely see high turnout, and this November’s election was no exception. Whether because of a lack of education on the issues facing them, or disinterest in the election itself, voters largely chose to stay home. In fact, statewide, over 91% of registered voters did not cast a ballot for the November 5 election.
Here in Wells Branch, our turnout percentage was slightly better than it was statewide. Information was only available for the four Travis County precincts included in Wells Branch. Because only a portion of Williamson County precinct 138 is in Wells Branch, specific turnout data was unavailable at press time.
The Travis County portion of Wells Branch consists of precincts 215, 216, 225, and 229. The total number of registered voters in those precincts is 10,199 (lower than what it was last year). The total number of ballots cast was 1159. This means approximately 11.4% of registered voters in Wells Branch turned out to vote, either during early voting or on election day.
This is significantly lower than our turnout for the general election last November, and it is easy to understand why – the 2012 general election included the presidential election, and so voters are more likely to show up at the polls. What should bother all of us, however, is that the November 5, 2013 election was about issues and a race for state representative that affect us all much more immediately than a national race.
Most importantly, votes cast in the race for House District 50 differed from the votes cast in each of the amendment proposition choices, and they varied for each amendment as well. The total number of voters who showed up to vote in each precinct does not tell the entire story, but it is a start.
Turnout and percentages per Travis County precinct in Wells Branch were as follows:
Pct 215 – 312 voters – 14.99% turnout
Pct 216 – 110 voters – 4.55% turnout
Pct 225 – 372 voters – 10.05% turnout
Pct 229 – 365 voters – 18.26% turnout
Increasing voter turnout is a crucial civic duty for our neighborhood. We have learned that one way to have our needs addressed by our local elected officials is to show them that we are engaged, and the easiest way is by voting. The WBNA works to inform voters of their choices in a non-partisan manner, and we encourage new ideas and your participation informing our neighbors, registering voters, and reminding each other to vote.
Run-Off Date Set for District 50
Gov. Rick Perry set Jan. 28, 2014, as the special election date to fill the Texas House District 50 seat vacated by Rep. Mark Strama of Austin. Celia Israel (D) and Mike VanDeWalle (R) will face each other in the run-off.
Early voting for this election will be held from January 20 to January 24.
The winner will serve the remainder of Rep. Strama’s unexpired term.