Democrats have abysmal turnout for gubernatorial runoff

Democrats have abysmal turnout for gubernatorial runoff

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The "blue wave" became a trickle Tuesday for the gubernatorial runoff between Lupe Valdez and Andrew White.

Only Democrats cast a ballot during the March primaries. During the runoffs, around 60 percent of them failed to vote, marking the largest primary-to-runoff drop in Texas. On top of that, Democrats cast the fewest ballots in a runoff since 1920.

In four counties not a single vote was cast in the gubernatorial runoff; King, Hall, Lynn, and McMullen Counties. 

"It's really hard to get people to get out and vote anyway and then a runoff election, there was just no interest," said Bonnie Schwertner, the Lynn County Democratic Party Chair.

Schwertner was one of those who did not vote in the runoff.

"There's been illness in my family and so I could've made a more better effort to get up there and vote but to be honest, I really didn't know enough about either one of them that it would've mattered," she said. "I know that that's not a democrat talking but that's the truth of the matter and I'm thinking that's probably why the others didn't go either."

Susan Tipton, the Lynn County Clerk, agreed with Schwertner. She thought the voting population in the county hardly knew there was an election, let alone what it was for.

"This last one was lack of publicity," Tipton said. "There was none here in the county, of course that's left up to the Democrats to get that to the newspapers and the TV stations that there's going to be a runoff and there was nothing in our newspaper, nothing from the party sent to them, and then honestly in the Lubbock, which we get Lubbock news stations, the only one I saw was the local county judges race."

Despite the low numbers, Democrats around the region remain hopeful that come November turnout will increase and the "blue wave" will sweep across the state, instead of waving goodbye on the way out.

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