Early vote turnout ‘just dismal’ … oh, really?

Randall and Potter County election officials say the early voter turnout for next Tuesday’s statewide election is miserable in the extreme.

Only about 3 percent of the registered voters in both counties have bothered to cast ballots for the Texas constitutional amendments that will be decided.

Wow! Who knew? Actually, many of us could have seen this coming.

System breeds extreme apathy

The state’s system of amending its Constitution requires statewide voter approval of the amendments. It’s a highly obsolete and archaic system of government. It has caused me in the past to wonder: What is the point if so few Texans take part in this electoral process?

I have wondered before about whether we should have a Texas constitutional convention to re-craft a governing document that looks more like the federal Constitution. The nation’s founders established a governing framework avoids the cumbersome nature of calling elections whenever Congress and the president want to amend the Constitution.

Texas chose long ago to put all that power in the hands of rank-and-file Texans. Which is fine if they would actually exercise that power by going to the polls. The dismal turnout suggests to me that the vast majority of Texas residents don’t care about what their State Constitution says.

If only the state would think about the effectiveness of a system that places so much authority for governance in voters who refuse to take part in what is supposed to be a participatory process.

The Legislature won’t change it. The governor won’t go there, either.

So, we’re stuck with “dismal” turnouts that places a whole lot of power into the hands of too few of us.

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