turnout statewide not expected to surpass 5%
Today is primary Election Day in Texas, and despite the fact that the Texas Primary will give Mitt Romney the number of convention delegates he needs to clinch the Republican nomination, expect turn out to be very light and look for a lot of confusion at the polls today due to redistricting, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The Texas Primary was supposed to take place March 5, in the heart of the Republican nominating process. But court battles over redistricting resulted in the primary being pushed back to May 29th, after all of the candidates except for Romney have dropped out or suspended their campaigns.
The redistricting will have another outcome, according to Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade, the state's top elections official. She says most voters have seen their precinct, and in many cases their State Representative and Congressman change, which means many voters will be casting ballots at brand new places.
"They need to make sure they check the voter registration card to make sure they are in the right precinct," she said.
Officials expect many people to go to the wrong voting place today, and says poll workers are expecting to deal with stressed out voters.
"With redistricting there has been some confusion, so I urge them to check their voter registration card, to make sure they're in the right precinct," she said.
Another factor which voters are dealing with is the massive amount of negative and attack advertising. One voter told 1200 WOAI news she planned to vote for the candidate "who sent me the fewest number of annoying robocalls."
One of the nastiest races in this region in recent memory has been the battle between veteran Republican State Senator Jeff Wentworth and two conservative challengers. At one point Wentworth even filed a lawsuit against one of his two challengers, Elizabeth Ames Jones, accusing her of libeling and defaming him in her radio ads.
UTSA political analyst Walter Wilson says the redistricting fight is a direct cause of the nasty battles.
"This will be the case in a number of districts I think when districts become more partisan, and therefore the stakes in the primaries are raised," he said.
Another factor which will contribute to the low turnout today will be the date of the election. Coming the day after Memorial Day will hold down turnout, and the fact that municipal elections were just held two weeks ago has led to confusion among people who feel they just voted, and shouldn't be going to the polls again. Experts calls that 'voter fatigue.'
And expect another election before the big general election in November. Many of the key races will result in runoffs, and the runof election is set for July 31.
The polls are open until 7PM, and 1200 WOAI's Joshua Cook and Morgan Montalvo will team for full election coverage during and after tonight's Game Two of the Western Conference Finals on 1200 WOAI.