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Voter Turnout in Texas Was Only 42.6 Percent

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From the lines Texans witnessed on early voting days, people assumed we were well on our way to breaking voting records during this year’s presidential election. But that wasn’t exactly the case.

The Texas Tribune wrote that while 800,000 more Texans voted in this election than in 2012, that doesn’t surpass 2008’s numbers. “This year’s turnout rate dropped slightly from 46.1 percent in 2008 to 42.6 percent in 2016.”

With a state as big and as populated as Texas, the turnout during the primaries this year placed Texas in the bottom 10 states. As the Texas Tribune wrote, “But while the number of Texans voting in the general election grew this year, it wasn’t enough to keep up with a state growing as fast as Texas.”

Guesses as to why this number is so low are numerous. Some believe it’s a feeling of apathy, not feeling represented by any candidate, being restricted by voting laws or available polling locations.

Others say it’s how Texas has been for decades. According to Houston Public Media, “Since 1972, Texas has had a lower voter turnout rate than the national rate for presidential elections.” While about 60% of eligible people in the nation vote during the Presidential elections, only 40% of Texans make it to the polls.