Beto on Texas vote turnout: It’s a conspiracy?

Readers of this blog know that I admire Beto O’Rourke, the former West Texas congressman who nearly got elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018.

However, I believe the young man is mistaken when he offers this reason — as published in this Twitter message — for the historically low voter turnout in Texas. He blames it on some sort of conspiracy by “those in power.”

Hmm. Here’s my take on it.

I believe Texans at times suffer from a case of “voter fatigue.” It’s also a bit of a cultural phenomenon that afflicts suppressed voter turnout here. The lowest percentage of turnouts occur in states that formerly comprised the Old Confederacy. Does that mean we care less about the health of our form of government that citizens who live in high-turnout states such as Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington? No, it doesn’t mean that all.

Texas’ Constitution establishes a lot of electoral offices. We vote for our entire slate of statewide constitutional offices every four years; those elections occur during those “midterm” years. We vote for municipal and school district offices every odd-numbered year. If we live in a community college district, we get to vote on boards of regents, too!

O’Rourke blames this lack of turnout on the ability of “those in power” to suppress voter participation. I believe that is an overly cynical view.

I remain a voting traditionalist. I prefer to vote on Election Day when I’ll be at home. I am no fan of vote by mail, which some states require; it’s been said that the high turnout in Oregon and Washington is a direct result of those states’ mail-voting provisions.

I would like to see Election Day turned into a national holiday. I would like to see state, local and federal governments conduct intensive public-service campaigns to encourage voter turnout.

As a voting junkie, I enjoy the prospect of standing in line at my polling place and waiting my turn to exercise my constitutional right of citizenship.

I just cannot buy into Beto’s belief that the lack of turnout in Texas is the result of some dark conspiracy.

What now? Well, Beto might run for president in 2020. Maybe he can channel the enthusiasm he generated in his near-miss loss for the U.S. Senate in Texas into a national wave. That would dispel any conspiratorial notion, correct?

One thought on “Beto on Texas vote turnout: It’s a conspiracy?”

  1. Although I did not vote for O’Rourke, I voted. I feel that everyone who is a citizen has the right to vote as they see fit. They also have the right NOT to vote. I tend to vote for the candidate I feel best represents me.

    Although Texas requires me to register as either a Democrat or a Republican to vote in the primary, in the General election, I can vote for anyone on the ballot, regardless of the party. And some times I vote for a candidate in the other party, if I feel more comfortable with that candidate and his views for whatever. I’m just not allowed to be an Independent in Texas. Before 1984, if you wanted to vote for local representation, you had to vote in the Democratic Primary, because there were NO Republicans running for local office. I voted for Reagan in the General Election and I voted for Kennedy in the Primary. (Although Kennedy had withdrawn his candidacy at that time, he was still on the ballot.)

    The one thing that I don’t tolerate is the “Cry Baby”, the candidate that cries “No Fair” because he didn’t win. In every election there is a winner and a loser. Unfortunately Beto was a sore loser in a tight election. Even if I were a Beto supporter in a previous election, I might not be, in the next election, just because of his attitude after the election. I’d have more respect for Beto if he just accepted the results, shook hands with Cruz and waited until next election to run again.

    I feel a politician, when he loses, should man up, shake the hand of the winner and say congratulations. Support the winner when he does things that are right and criticize him when he does things wrong . I do that either way. And believe me, I don’t always agree with my candidate.

    Take Trump for example. He was not my first choice as a candidate, but he was much higher on the list than Hillary. I sometimes feel our elections are more of a “Hobson’s Choice.”

    If he lost because of low voter turn out ( does that mean the winner had high voter turn out in the same election…… I think not. )

    I’m tired of the loser whining and blaming the opposition of cheating. The real reason is….. get this because it may be unsettling to the candidate, “Maybe the voters just didn’t want you.”

Leave a Reply