The election calendar may be a little on the slow side this year. But the elections scheduled in May and November couldn\’t be more important. The right is on the warpath, particularly when it comes to making sure it blocks student access to facts they need in their development as citizens in a fully participatory democracy.
On May 6, communities in all corners of Hays County will be voting in School Board or Municipal Elections. And come November, they\’ll be casting ballots in State Constitutional Amendment Elections and an additional round school and municipal elections. But even with the absence of any noisy top-of-ballot battles, Hays County still recorded new registration activity involving 1,895 voters during January.
Given the proximity of their registration dates to the May Elections, these new voters may be very receptive to GOTV efforts.
There are no Primary Elections this year and all of this year’s elections are non-partisan. So despite the fact that some candidates may be seen as supporters of one or the other parties, they will not be identified with a party label on the ballot itself.
The first elections of the year are Saturday, May 6, for the following jurisdictions:
Key dates for the May 6 Elections:
The following links contain additional information about the May 6 Elections:
San Marcos CISD 2023 School Board Election
Hays CISD 2023 School Board Elections
City of Wimberley 2023 Municipal Election
City of Dripping Springs 2023 School Board Election
City of Hays 2023 Municipal Election
The May elections, historically, are among our lowest turnout elections. Which is surprising, particularly in communities with school board races, since local school taxes account for up to 60% of the property taxes we pay. And Texas has one of the 10 highest property tax rates in the nation. So, you’d think voters would want to have a real voice in making sure their tax dollars are spent as wisely as possible to benefit our students.
But, in general, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. In last May’s school board races, the turnout in individual races ranged from a low of 7.27% in the San Marcos CISD to a high of 20.61% in the Dripping Springs ISD.
While both of these races involved only single-member districts, the turnout figure reflects only the number of eligible voters who cast ballots for the races in the respective districts.
Here\’s a look at how that new voter activity shakes out:
|New Registration Voter History||# Voters|
|Registration Activity with Effective Dates of January 28 – February 28||1895|
|No Previous Hays County Voting History (Brand New Voters)||1484|
|Previous Hays County Dem Voting History||77|
|Previous Hays County GOP Voting History||73|
|Previous Hays County Non-Partisan Voting History (No Primary Voting History)||261|
As we look at the efforts to ban honesty and truth from the teaching of the history of the United States in school districts throughout the nation, it\’s clear that we have to take a strong and active role in recruiting and supporting progressive candidates in local elections. And beyond that, we have to work harder than ever to get out the vote in those elections.
We\’re at a crossroads here, and we can\’t sit these elections out.