Comparing Turnout in Constitutional Elections

Turnout as a Percentage of Voting-Age Population in Five Types of Texas Elections and Presidential Elections Nationwide, 1970-2015

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categoryPresidential Elections-NationalPresidential Elections-TexasGubernatorial ElectionsPresidential PrimariesGubernatorial PrimariesSpecial Constitutional Elections
1970nullnull31.12null15.59null
1971nullnullnullnullnullnull
197255.2144.90null29.84nullnull
1973nullnullnullnullnullnull
1974nullnull19.99null19.21null
1975nullnullnullnullnullnull
197653.5546.14null21.37nullnull
1977nullnullnullnullnull6.22
1978nullnull25.29null21.04null
1979nullnullnullnullnull4.61
198052.5645.55null19.10nullnull
1981nullnullnullnullnull8.07
1982nullnull29.82null14.81null
1983nullnullnullnullnull6.91
198453.1147.55null15.86nullnull
1985nullnullnullnullnull8.24
1986nullnull29.05null13.85null
1987nullnullnullnullnull18.61
198850.1144.34null22.73nullnull
1989nullnullnullnullnull9.33
1990nullnull31.08null18.70null
1991nullnullnullnullnull16.16
199255.0947.64null17.65nullnull
1993nullnullnullnullnull8.52
1994nullnull33.62null12.19null
1995nullnullnullnullnull5.55
199649.0840.97null14.17nullnull
1997nullnullnullnullnull8.45
1998nullnull26.53null8.95null
1999nullnullnullnullnull6.69
200051.3044.25null13.22nullnull
2001nullnullnullnullnull5.58
2002nullnull29.35null10.62null
2003nullnullnullnullnull9.31
200455.4046.11null9.49nullnull
2005nullnullnullnullnull13.82
2006nullnull26.44null6.99null
2007nullnullnullnullnull6.31
200856.9045.55null23.89nullnull
2009nullnullnullnullnull5.77
2010nullnull25.74null11.60null
2011nullnullnullnullnull3.80
201253.6043.70null11.20nullnull
2013nullnullnullnullnull6.14
2014nullnull24.3null11.60null
2015nullnullnullnullnull8.00

Texas' Old Rattle-trap Constitution Needs Constant Fixing
But incessant, often incomprehensible repairs frustrate and confuse Texans. In eighteen constitutional elections from 1977 to 2010 Texas patched its constitutions 242 times. But on average only a dismal 8.5% of the eligible electorate voted on the 242 proposed changes. Put another way, no less than 81% (but typically more than 90%) of Texas voters opted out of each repair either at the ballot box or through a vote not cast.

 

Source: Turnout is typically calculated as the number of votes cast divided by the voting-age population (VAP) which is estimated by the Census Bureau as the number of residents in a jurisdiction eighteen years and older. Note that VAP is an estimate since it includes persons ineligible to vote, mainly non-citizens and ineligible felons, and excludes overseas eligible voters. Primary election turnout estimates here combine in the numerator votes cast in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. National Turnout as a percentage of VAP is from the Federal Election Commission at http://www.fec.gov, accessed 1 July 2004 and The United States Election Project at http://elections.gmu.edu/Turnout_2008G.html accessed on 5 August 2010. Texas turnout figures are from the Texas Secretary of State at http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/historical/70-92.shtml, accessed 5 August 2010.