Turnout Expectedly Low in Local Metroplex Elections

Hundreds of candidates in dozens of local government entities vied for elected office around the Metroplex on May 6. But as usual, the local elections drew relatively small numbers of voters. Only one of four DFW-area counties reported double-digit turnout. And one county reported receiving over 600 possibly fraudulent mail-in ballots in the elections.

DALLAS COUNTY – 7.8%

Just 7.8 percent of Dallas County’s 1,346,338 registered voters turned out to vote in local elections.

In the City of Dallas, turnout in the 11 contested council races ranged from 5 to 11.7 percent. At least 670 mail-in ballots from District 2 and 6 were sequestered for special scrutiny at the request of Dallas County’s assistant district attorney Andy Chatham due to reports of possible mail ballot voter fraud.

Dallas’ two contested school board races drew 11.8 and 7.9 percent of voters, respectively.

Turnout in several city mayoral elections around the county was similarly low: 3.9 percent in Garland, 8.7 percent in Richardson, 9.8 percent in Carrollton, and 10.4 percent in Irving.

COLLIN COUNTY – 11.9%

Collin County’s 531,652 registered voters cast a total of 63,177 ballots – a turnout rate of 11.9 percent.

In Allen, turnout was lower: just 8.7 percent of voters participated in the city’s election, which returned a 20-year incumbent to the mayor’s seat. In the county’s other three big cities, where there were more – and more contested – city and school board races, turnout was higher.

In Frisco’s city and school races, which include voters in both Collin and Denton counties, turnout was between 12 and 14 percent.

The McKinney mayoral race drew 12.1 percent of voters. The city’s three council races saw 9 to 14 percent turnout; all three are headed to runoffs. McKinney’s four school board contests had turnout of 12.6 to 14.5 percent.

Over 17 percent of voters went to the polls in Plano’s hotly contested mayoral and city council races, while elections for Plano’s four school board places had 14.4 percent turnout. Of those, two city council and one school board contest are headed to runoffs.

By comparison, tiny Farmersville, with 1,688 registered voters and three council positions on the ballot, had a turnout of 26.7 percent.

Nearly 12 percent of Collin County voters cast a ballot in Collin College’s $600 million bond referendum. The mega-bond passed by a 56 to 44 percent margin.

DENTON COUNTY – 9.6%

Denton County reported turnout of 9.6 percent of its 418,204 registered voters.

Turnout in the City of Denton’s four council races ranged from 5.8 to 8.9 percent.

Just 8.3 percent of district voters weighed in on Lewisville Independent School District’s $737 million mega-bond, which passed by a margin of 62 to 38 percent.

TARRANT COUNTY – 8.6%

Tarrant County’s unofficial results show 8.6 percent of its 1,031,364 registered voters participated in the May 6 local elections.

In Fort Worth’s mayoral and eight council races, only two had double-digit turnout. Nine to 12 percent of voters participated in Fort Worth school board races.

Colleyville’s two city council races, which were both won by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility-endorsed candidates, drew a relatively high 16.8 percent.

RUNOFF ELECTIONS SET FOR JUNE 10

While turnout in local elections is notoriously low, turnout in local runoff elections is even lower. Ten Metroplex candidates endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility are in runoff elections set for June 10.

Metroplex voters who care about local issues should check for runoff elections in their area and mark their calendars for one more local Election Day.

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Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is the Metroplex Correspondent for Empower Texans & Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout the area. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.

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