AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Potter and Randall Counties experienced low voter turnout after the first week of early voting.
According to Randall County Elections Administrator Shannon Lackey, Randall is down 18% compared to where they were in 2018. Potter County is down by 1,700 voters compared to where they were at in 2018.
The cause for low voter turnout can be attributed to two reasons.
“One of the reasons I do believe that our voter turnout is down is we don’t have any contested local races, but there are so many statewide races that are on this ballot that really do command people’s attention,” said Shannon Lackey, Randall County Elections Administrator.
The lack of contested local races is just one reason why officials are suspecting low voter turnout
“The other reason is some of the campaign ads are too effective,” said Dave Rausch, West Texas A&M University Professor. “The goal of a negative campaign ad is not to, you know, encourage your supporters is to discourage the other candidate supporters. And if, if you can put enough questions in their minds, they’re not going to vote at all.”
Throughout the year there was a large push for voter registration but now that the election is here but now registered voters must get out and vote if they want their voices to be heard.
“Registering is step one, if you don’t come out and actually cast your ballot, then your voice is not heard,” said Lackey. “We need everyone that was so involved and excited about getting registered to vote to actually turn out and cast that ballot.”
Elections administrators said it is hard to predict when people will vote but they do encourage early voting.
“The last day of early voting is historically our busiest day if it doesn’t pick up, then I would expect that we would have a huge turnout on election day,” stated Lackey.