Texas Had the Worst Voter Turnout in the Country, and the Rain in Dallas Didn't Help

Preliminary numbers are out for Texas' midterm election voter turnout from the Election Project, and they are abysmal. Just 28.5 percent of Texans eligible to vote did so, either in early voting or on Tuesday, the lowest percentage in the country. The last time Texas voted for its governor in 2010, 32.1 percent of eligible Texans voted.

Dallas County weather, and the dearth of competitive races, likely bears most of the blame. In 2010, Dallasites voted at a 37 percent clip, casting 424,511 votes for the top line race -- Rick Perry and Bill White's gubernatorial election. This year, despite the number of registered voters in the county growing by about 100,000, only 406,594 ballots were submitted in Greg Abbott's landslide coronation. That's 32 percent turnout. Prior to the election Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole told The Dallas Morning News she thought turnout would be between 35 and 37 percent.

2014 November General Election - Turnout Rates

Maine, which had a strange, competitive governor's race and a Senate race, led the U.S. with 59 percent of eligible people showing up to vote. Unsurprisingly, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee helped Texas bring up the rear.

Update November 17: It's been pointed out to me that Indiana had a slightly lower turnout than Texas at 28 percent. Indiana did not have a statewide race and wasn't included in the first data set that I saw. It's an apples to oranges comparison, but Indiana had the lowest turnout in the country. Texas had the 49th best turnout, and the lowest among states with a top-line race.

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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young