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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Hays County sees 16% voter turnout in election

Delaney Compton

Hays County had 16.17% of registered voters participate in the Nov. 7 Uniform Election. While less than last year’s November General Election turnout of 52.81% registered Hays County voters, this was an above average turnout for constitutional amendment elections.

“This was a good turnout for a constitutional amendment election because we don’t typically see these numbers in these smaller, yearly elections,” Hays County Elections Administrator and Voter Registrar Jennifer Doinoff said. “I think that’s because a lot of people aren’t familiar with the amendments that are on the ballot and unfamiliar to the election process for passing constitutional amendments.”

The 2021 November election for constitutional amendments had a 12.20% voter turnout, which at the time was also considered a high amount. Doinoff said it was obvious a few of the amendments, like Proposition 5 and Proposition 9, had more attention of voters than previous years’ propositions.

According to Doinoff, May uniform elections and local elections do not receive many voters as well, despite being the ones that likely affects voters the most due to issues on the ballot mainly focusing on localized content.

“There are a lot of elections and a lot for voter’s to know, so I think it’s a matter of voters doing their homework to figure out what’s on upcoming ballots,” Doinoff said. “I encourage everybody to stay tuned as we will have elections in March, May and November of next year, as well as any resulting runoff elections.”

According to a Doinoff, it is required for election information like the constitutional amendments to be placed in local media like newspapers. The Elections Office also does social media outreach to inform voters, but with a smaller staff, they’re unable to specifically have engagement reach school campuses.

“Most students and really most adults don’t get their information from the newspaper anymore,” Doinoff said. “There’s just so many ways that people get their information these days that we haven’t found the most effective target.”

Doinoff said the Elections Office hopes that as staff continue experimenting with social media, voting numbers can increase even more in Hays County.

Andrea Rodriguez Castillo, an animal science freshman, said she did not vote in this election because there was not enough awareness of it, but she did notice a few flyers around campus encouraging people to vote for or against certain constitutional amendments. Castillo said these did not have any details on what the propositions entail.

“I think this makes students guess on how to vote for the propositions just because it’s the only information they’ve seen on the amendments,” Castillo said. “Election Day was promoted on campus, but what you were voting on wasn’t, which I think discouraged students.”

Ashley Chasco, a political science freshman, also didn’t vote in this election because she wasn’t aware of it until late the day of.

“I found out through Instagram actually that elections were happening, and I was not aware of any early voting either, so I couldn’t make it,” Chasco said. “I wish the school could’ve done more promotion of it.”

Castillo said the registration process prevented her from knowing her voter status. She tried to register during her Orientation Week over the summer but said she wishes there were more voting resources available before the election to help students register to vote.

Texas State Student Government has a webpage that is regularly updated to help students when it comes to voting. There is information on how to register, how to check one’s voting registration and a guide on the voting process.

Doinoff said the Hays County Elections Office is open for voters to contact with any questions of the voting process and election information. She also encourages people to reach out to their local jurisdictions to see what can be expected on upcoming ballots.

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