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More thoughts about yesterday’s results

– I didn’t note it last night, but all 11 Constitutional amendments passed. No surprise there, they almost always do.

– Looking back at my turnout projections, the right number to go with was the 30% scenario. As it happens, going by the numbers in the Mayoral race, 31.0% of all votes cast for the City of Houston races were early votes. Doing the same math for the constitutional amendments, 29.0% of all Harris County votes were cast early. One reason why the City of Houston turnout was so poor is that only 69.5% of all Harris County voters were in the city of Houston. Had it been 75%, as I had assumed in my projections, the city’s turnout figure would have been 192,804 instead of 178,594.

– The Chron story on the turnout contains some funny math.

Part of the difference between this year and previous open-seat races is the jump in registered voters, driven in part by massive efforts to get people signed up for last year’s presidential election.

In Harris County, nearly 1.9 million people are registered to vote, compared to 1.2 million in 1997, and less than 1 million in 2003.

*boggle* Let’s skip over the assertion about efforts to get voters registered last year, since we know that number should in fact be much higher than it is; as a percentage of population, the number of registered voters in 2008 was down significantly from 2004. An awful lot of that effort to register voters was just to re-establish those who had moved since the previous election. Be all that as it may, the relevant figure for 2003 was 1,506,629 registered voters. I can only assume that “less than 1 million” figure refers to the city of Houston, in which case what we have here is an apples and oranges mixup.

– You do recall that Roseann Rogers, the “Buzz Lady”, was running for City Council in Bellaire, right? She finished second to Corbett Parker for that seat, with 28.11% to Parker’s 49.23%. I presume this means a runoff, but am not sure if the law is different for smaller cities like Bellaire.

– Other thoughts on the results, from Greg, Coby, Stace, Martha, and David Ortez. Martha’s analysis of Roy’s performance is well worth reading.

That’s all for now. I figure there will be a short lull, then things will fire up and go red hot till Runoff Day. I at least plan to enjoy the respite, however brief it may be.

UPDATE: On the one hand, regarding Bellaire, state law only requires a majority to win for cities of 200,000 people or more. On the other hand, Bellaire does indeed have runoffs for its elections. You can see how this can get confusing.

UPDATE: Nancy Sims, PDiddie, Hair Balls and Campos weigh in.

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  1. Mike Sullivan says:

    Good morning, sir, and let me jump in here on this issue. As a former school board member, I know the answer well.

    In short, in the state of Texas, a candidate for school board has to only achieve a plurality to win. It is not necessary to win by the conventional “50% + 1” to win an election. You only have to receive more than one vote that everyone else in the race to win.

    While this may seem like a strange, or archaic method, it has served this state well. There almost 1100 school districts in the state, and as they say, “you do the math”. It would be expensive, time consuming, and certainly a financial burden for almost school districts if the election law was written any other way.

    If I have grammatical or spelling errors, please forgive me. It has been a very, very long night for me.

    Thank you.

  2. Mainstream says:

    Ironic that preacher and Harris County GOP employee Eric Story who caused controversy by praying that Annise Parker not become the mayor of Houston does not even live in the City of Houston, but in the Humble area.