By Aaron Derton
Last updated Nov. 8, 2017 at 11:32 a.m.
Off-year elections often see lower turnout than presidential and midterm election years, and last night was no exception. While some political analysts predicted the so-called “Trump Effect” would drive up turnout across the board, it took a nosedive compared to 2015 turnout numbers. Only 5 percent of Texas’ 15 million voters came to the polls this year, compared to 11 percent in 2015. In 2016, we saw 59 percent of registered voters at the voting booth.
This low turnout has major consequences. There were seven proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution. They all passed by wide margins – the lowest being 19 percentage points.
While none of the amendments were particularly controversial, San Marcos citizens had a number of local races to participate in as well. Just over 2,000 people came to polls in San Marcos on Tuesday. Voters cast ballots for changes to the city charter (they all passed), as well as candidates for Place 3 and Place 4 on the city council.
Texas State professor and incumbent Council Member Ed Mihalkanin defeated Amy Stanfield 65 percent to 35 percent for Place 3. Place 4 incumbent Council Member Jane Hughson also soundly defeated Joshua Simpson, a former Texas State student, 81 percent to 19 percent.
“We’re all doing this together, all different parts of the community and this was so the people of San Marcos could continue to make the decisions about the future of our community,” Dr. Mihalkanin said in his victory speech. Ms. Hughson seconded his statement.
Soon primary elections for 2018 will begin to ramp up. Major names in Texas politics – Speaker Joe Straus and Congressman Lamar Smith in particular – have announced their retirements and speculation is swirling as to who will replace them.
The only way to know is to vote, because your vote does matter.
Originally published on Nov. 7, 2017 at 6:14 a.m.
Tonight, KTSW will be on-air with special guests including Texas State Professors from the Political Science Department, Bill DeSoto and Vincent Bangulo along with Naomi Narvaiz.
News Director, Aaron Derton, and Assistant Director, David West, will host the program from 6:30-9:30 p.m.! Citizens are encouraged to tweet questions to @ktswnews.
We’ll be keeping up-to-date with voting totals throughout the night.
On the ballot in San Marcos are two city council seats, Place 3 (Ed Mihalkanin vs. Amy Stanfield) and Place 4 (Jane Hughson vs. Joshua Simpson), as well as changes to the city charter and Texas Constitution.
Featured image by Madison Tyson.