The Texas Tribune is reporting a classic good news-bad news story as it relates Texas’s voter turnout in the 2018 midterm election.
The good news? Texas is among the nation’s leading states in the increase in voter turnout over the 2014 midterm election. Texans boosted their midterm turnout this year by 18 percent, ranking No. 6 nationally.
The national increase in turnout was 13 percent, the Tribune reports. Hey, that’s good, right? Of course it is!
The turnout boost no doubt was fueled by the extraordinary interest in the race for the U.S. Senate, which Republican Sen. Ted Cruz won narrowly over Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
Oh, but then there’s the bad news. You ready? Texas still voted below the national average. Total voter turnout percentage ranked us at No. 40 nationally. That’s bad, yes? Yep. I am afraid so.
The lack of competitive statewide races has helped drive down Texas voter participation. This year was remarkably different, as the increase over the 2014 midterm turnout illustrates.
However, we had a huge hill to climb from the near bottom of all the states in voter turnout.
Baby steps, though, are better than no steps. So we’ve taken some big steps toward improving our participation in this thing called “representative democracy.”
I’ll take the good news any day of the week.