Early voting is underway in the 2011 Texas state constitutional election. The statewide election focuses on ten possible amendments to the Texas constitution, some that many would say are crucial to the well being of citizens of our state. However a low turnout was recorded on the first day of voting here in Laredo and officials say it's a trend in elections based on issues, rather than electing candidates to office. Our Victoria Marshall has the story.
Manuel Degollado \ Retired Laredoan
"I heard about the election and I'm on my way over there."
Daniel Saenz \ Laredoan
"People should take advantage and think about doing it"
Early voting began in the 2011 Texas amendment election on Monday. The ballot is short containing ten items touching on various topics affecting Texas citizens including education and taxes while others directly address common rights that many feel should be afforded to specific groups.
Early Voting Begins \ Constitutional Amendments On Ballot
"We have one of the amendments that has to do with loans for college students. Another one is for the surviving spouses of veterans."
But not too many Laredoans felt it was crucial to come out and exercise their constitutional right.
"We don't have any candidates on the ballot and I think that's why people aren't really concerned about amendment elections."
Historical trends show elections that are issue based tend to pull far less voters than those in which candidates are elected to office. Election office indicates there are one-hundred thousand registered voters in the county. Back in the 2008 presidential election over 48-thousand voters turned out. Meanwhile, the 2009 amendment election had a much weaker showing, with only twenty-six hundred voters. Villarreal says the state is responsible for publicizing all elections through print and other media. However, issue based elections may not pack the same punch as primaries because candidates invest additional resources.
"You have all these candidates and all of these people who want to be elected and that attention publicizes the election because it comes out in news and newspapers."
But this year officials hope to break the trend by spreading the word by making it known that the right you currently possess to express your opinion is a gift similar to those you could give to your fellow Texans by voting in this election.
"Let their voice be heard because this is the time when we need to. We're the ones that have the last voice."
Early voting in this election will continue through Friday, November 4th at these locations listed on your screen. There are also locations set up in Bruni, Oilton and Mirando City. Election day for all cities is Tuesday, November 8th.