Wednesday, May 05, 2010

FBISD et al. Early Voting Stats

Early voting ended yesterday for the statutory local May elections in Texas. Turnout was as expected: miserable.

I know voting for president or senator or governor isn’t as sexy as voting for city council, or a MUD board, or a school board but it doesn’t get closer to home than this. It is the local elections that affect you the most. But that doesn’t ring true to the vast majority of voters in our midst.

I will never understand it. Do we have to pay people to cast a vote? Give out gold stars? Free coupons? What is it going to take to get some voter participation?

Here are the Early Vote totals for each of the elections as compiled at the Fort Bend County Elections website:

By the way, anyone can access this data. The trick is to know how to drill down through that arcane thing called the Fort Bend County Elections website. Get this, to view the Early Vote statistics on a daily basis you go to the Fort Bend County Elections website at then click on “Elections” on the top menu bar, then on “Maps” on the side menu bar.

Get that? Maps.

Then you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the Maps page and you have two links you can click on, the “Early Voting by Personal Appearance Report” and the “Early Voting by Mail Report.” You have to have Adobe Reader to read the PDF files.

Anyway, it looks like the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustee race is the one most people are voting in. Again. Not in huge numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but numerous for a May election. Missouri City – which has a much smaller jurisdictional area is doing pretty well, too.

For a May election.

Just for grins, I thought I’d compare the EV turnout in the Fort Bend ISD BOT election over what has happened in past years. Here it is, by year since 2006 when the county kept separate records for Early Vote. The only thing that is truly startling is that the Early Vote numbers are down over the period of tumult on the Board when a cleaning crew was voted in, then voted out when the public reacted to their handiwork.

Really, in recent history no one recalls when hundreds of Fort Bend ISD employees were given their walking papers in light of a budget deficit. But apparently that has had little effect on voter turnout.

Look for the final numbers to be roughly double the Early Vote, if things go on trend with past elections.

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