Friday, May 10, 2013

Record Voter Turnout for Richardson 2013 Election

Record Voter Turnout

A record number of people have voted in this year’s election breaking all previous total votes cast records. The highest number of voter to turn out for election happened during the 2011 elections with the highest number of votes being in Place 7 with a total of 7882 votes cast. Here are the numbers for previous elections:

Total Votes Cast During 2011 by Place - Place 1 – 7708, Place 2 – 7746, Place 3 – 6203, Place 4 – 7699, Place 5 – 7648, Place 6 – 6326 and Place 7 - 7882.

Total Votes Cast During 2009 Election  – Place 1 – 6671, Place 2 – 6999, Place 3 – 6991, Place 4 – 7157, Place 5 – 6944, Place 6 – 6944 and Place 7 – 7166.

Total Votes Cast During 2007 Election   – Place 1 – 5941, Place 2 – 5638, Place 3 – 5654, Place 4 – 4578, Place 5 – 5689, Place 6 – 5523 and Place 7 – 5846

So far for the 2013 election cycle, there have been over 8300 votes cast. With Election Day coming tomorrow, it seems as if the voter turnout will be about twice that of a normal turnout, probably about 16,000 votes will be cast.

There is no doubt that one of the things that has made this election turn out so many voters is the fact that for the first time in over 50 years Richardson residents will have the opportunity to elect their own mayor rather than have the mayor selected behind closed doors and voted on in public. As for the mayor pro tem spot, both candidates have said they want to have that discussion in public as to who they want for mayor tem, rather than in private as is the way the council historically performs this task.

Direct election seems to have helped engage more voters. That is a plus. Voter apathy has always seemed to be a big problem. As long as the sewage goes away, the trash is picked up and the water runs, not much else seems to matter to most folks. It is a good thing that more voters are having a say this time around. It helps Richardson overall when more people are involved.

For far too long the Canyon Creek area, with the help of the Richardson Coalition, has had too much sway with the people of Richardson. They are more organized and more involved which had the effect of shutting out others from the east side of town. Maybe we can move on to single districts in the future as well to further dilute and lessen their strangle hold on this town.

As for the campaigns for election, they have been heated and good for the most part. The lowest point in the election was the Richardson Coalition mailer sent out and financed is large part by the largest contributor, Chuck Eisemann. The second largest contributor was Jim Hoyt who helped Lance Armstrong on his trail of disgrace.

As for the candidates, there were hardly any complaints about their actions. For the most part, they campaigned fairly. The only exception to this was when Laura Maczka endorsed the Richardson Coalition’s personal attacks and misrepresentations of Amir Omar. Laura Maczka did not follow the Title15 Chapter 258 Section 258.004 (1) of the Code of Fair Campaign Practices by condemning the personal attacks which had nothing to do with “opponent’s record and started positions on issues”. All other campaign activity seemed to be fair from both candidates.

All of the council, with the Exception of Amir Omar, didn’t think it was important enough to review the issue based on their votes at the Jan, 30, 2012 council meeting. It seems to have turned out to been an issue that would have been worth it considering it pass at election time by a 3 to 1 margin and considering that almost twice the number of voters will vote this year than at any other previous municipal election.

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