Texas Confuses Voters, Hurts Turnout With Two Elections in One Month

Apparently, Texas leaders don't want you to vote. They certainly don't make it easy.That conclusion is derived by how difficult the electoral process has become in the Lone Star state, where voter participation is among the worst in the nation.Let's set aside the voter suppression that results from voter ID laws or rigid rules that don't allow for same-day voter registration or online voting -- all moves that would increase turnout.Texas lawmakers have developed or allowed a system with near nonstop election seasons that confuse voters and keeps folks away from the polls.There are too many elections in Texas. Everyone knows it, but no one does anything about it.The best example of Texas' failed election system is what's taking place this month. There are signs all over North Texas urging residents to get out in vote in the election. Problem is, there are two elections in May.Local voters will first be asked to participate Saturday's elections in cities and school districts. Then on Tuesday, May 22, voters are urged to return to the polls to participate in partisan runoff elections.Both sets of contests are important. City leaders and school board trustees have the greatest impact on residents-- from shaping the minds of your children to picking up trash. The runoffs will settle important races like the Democratic Party contest for governor. Party nominees for several congressional seats are also in the May mix.To water down these important races by asking Texas voters to go to the polls two times in just over two weeks is outrageous and a classic example of the dysfunction the state has in picking leaders.There is no way to justify two sets of elections in the same month and in the same area.It's awful, and it gets worse.In Dallas County, voters are being asked to vote in more than 50 judicial contests, including state district judges for civil and criminal courts. It's impossible for the average voters to make informed decisions on so many down-ballot races. There's no way to know all the candidates, let alone their records. Yet, voters are expected to do so, and criticized when they gravitate to ways to make the process easier, like voting the straight party line.It won't get easier. Straight ticket voting is going away after this cycle, so get ready to spend your valuable time going through a ballot containing over 100 races filled with candidates you know nothing about.Some Democrats complain that women voters pick women judges, and in the process toss out strong incumbent men. Well, the system doesn't leave voters much of a choice. For some voters, gender is a better way of picking candidates than Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe.Want another perplexing fact about Dallas County elections? This year there are dozens of judicial races, but in 2020 and other presidential election years, only six state district judges are on the ballot. It defies logic to have the bulk of judicial races during mid-term elections, when turnout is down, but only have a few during presidential elections, when turnout is much higher.It's almost as if they don't really want you to vote.Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, well aware of the dismal turnout in city elections, wants to make things easier for votes by moving municipal elections to November, when most other races are on the ballot.  Continue reading...

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