Concerns raised over low voter turnout in Wichita County

The low turnout has raised concerns for officials on how this could affect policy change on big items.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:08 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Only 4% of Wichita County’s registered voters cast a ballot in the May 24 primary runoff election. While smaller elections tend to have fewer voters, people are worried about the consequences in today’s world.

Three elections have already happened this year and there’s another one coming up in November.

The low turnout has raised concerns on how this could affect policy change on big items like Roe v. Wade, border control, firearms and much more.

“People are going out and saying elections don’t matter, it is all rigged, it is all this and that, so that is only going to be the natural consequence to convince people to not take time off from work and vote if they are consistently hearing that this is a waste of time,” Dr. Steve Garrison, MSU Texas political science professor, said.

There are major policy changes in play this year. Despite this, we’re seeing a decline in voter turnout. Garrison said that now more than ever, people need to be out voting because every elected official makes a difference.

“The biggest concern is the enforcement mechanism is basically putting the power into the hands of individual people and further undermining the rule of law and government,” Garrison said.

With other states creating their own versions of the Texas Heartbeat Bill, Garrison said average citizens are now able to enforce their versions of the law and seek financial benefits for it.

“Whether it deals with abortion, firearms, environmental protection, whatever the policy is, that is just going to create a situation where the government, I don’t know how they are going to work after that because then they are in this situation where they have to regulate not only the actual laws passed by the legislature and the congress, but these weird sort of individual responsibilities between people,” Garrison said.

While there is no clear-cut solution to these issues, Garrison said a big part can be holding elected officials accountable while they’re in office and that starts by getting out to vote in the first place.

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