Plano numbers shine for a spring election with a heavy ballot of issues

Plano voters approved all six of the city's bond propositions, elected a mayor, council members and Plano ISD board members. (Rebecca Anderson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano voters approved all six of the city's bond propositions, elected a mayor, council members and Plano ISD board members. (Rebecca Anderson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Plano voters approved all six of the city's bond propositions, elected a mayor, council members and Plano ISD board members. (Rebecca Anderson/Community Impact Newspaper)

A record number of Plano registered voters took part in this city election, according to officials on May 1. As the city announced results on Facebook and Twitter, the final post at about midnight said more than 20% of the city’s registered voters participated in this spring election.

The city’s choices of mayor, council members, a $364 million bond issue and Plano ISD board members likely drove the numbers for city residents.

Spring elections historically have a lower participation rate than November elections. The county numbers May 1 were much less in comparison.

With all 57 Collin County vote centers reporting late May 1, 14.71% of registered voters weighed in for the spring election.

With 94,405 ballots cast of the 641,789 registered voters, 30,610 came on election day, while 61,136 were cast in early voting and 2,659 by mail.


In Denton County, 48,601 ballots were cast out of 550,504 registered voters for 8.83% turnout according to county data. Denton County had two precincts that voted on the Plano ballot.

In the city election, Denton County voters favored Lily Bao for mayor over the May 1 winner John Muns and also gave a higher tally to Chris Robertson in Plano City Council Place 7 over top vote-getter Julie Holmer. Robertson and Holmer will challenge for the position in a June 5 runoff election.

Denton County voters passed all six bond propositions, as did their voting counterparts in Collin County.

In Collin County, there were 32,271 votes cast for Place 2 council member, with Anthony Ricciardelli holding his position for another term. Of those votes, 10,403 came on election day. Almost double voted in early voting with 20,694 and 1,174 cast their decisions by mail.

The numbers were similar for election day for the other council positions and the bond proposal with 30,000-35,000 ballots cast and early voting accounting for nearly double of election day voting.

By comparison, Dallas County reported 9.6% voter turnout on May 1, while Tarrant County had 14.2% of registered voters take part.

In some areas of Texas, especially the Austin and Houston metros, this weekend's election day was met with flooding rains and thunderstorms. The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby also took place while polls were open.

Historically, Collin County's November elections range from 57% to 83% in presidential elections since 1988. Texas Secretary of State numbers show midterm November elections garner between 31% and 55% in the same time frame. Since 1998, the number of registered voters in Collin County has grown from 122,718 to 641,789. Denton County has jumped from 122,463 registered voters in 1988 to 550,504 in 2021. Similar November election results from the Secretary of State showed higher rates during presidential elections, while midterm elections were as low as 27% in 1998.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect to total bond amount approved by voters.
By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is executive editor of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor for Central Texas and senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.