Nonprofit cites historic low voter turnout numbers as concern for incorporation election

Election Day this year is Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Election Day this year is Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Election Day this year is Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

With a vote on incorporation scheduled in The Woodlands on Nov. 2, the nonprofit Voter Awareness Council is making efforts to encourage voters to take part in the election to break a trend of low turnout in years without a presidential election.

VAC President Steve Leakey said the issue is significant because it will affect all residents of The Woodlands. The VAC serves the Montgomery County area with a goal of encouraging an active and informed electorate.

“To have that decision made by a small percentage of voters does not make logical sense,” he said.

Information from VAC and Montgomery County indicates the previous odd-year election in 2019 had a voter turnout of around 19.6% of registered voters in The Woodlands. The most recent presidential election in 2020 showed a turnout of 56.4%. There were 77,080 registered voters in the township as of November 2020, according to the VAC.

Leakey said the VAC previously lobbied The Woodlands Township board of directors to hold an incorporation election in an even year to see higher voter turnout. Township officials have said if The Woodlands incorporates this year, it would have access to COVID-19-related funding available to cities that may not be available in future years, prompting the earlier election date.


Leakey said he hopes those who do not normally vote in odd-numbered years will be motivated to participate more after this election. He added those interested in voting this year should use the Montgomery County Elections website as a tool to track important dates and where voting will take place.

“We encourage people to study every issue on the ballot,” he said. “You can fill out your sample ballot and take it into the polling place, which you are allowed to do.”

Leakey also said a concern for elections is undervoting, which means a voter did not vote on all of the issues on the ballot.

“2020 was a classic example. There was such a high degree of undervoting that in The Woodlands there were a couple of races where the number of undervotes far exceeded the win/loss margin of the winner and loser,” Leakey said. “These were people that were already there, but did not have a complete ballot and did not vote.”

Leakey said the VAC encourages all voters to complete their ballots before completing voting.
By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.


MOST RECENT

The proposed project spans 12.4 miles of FM 1488 through Magnolia, Conroe and The Woodlands and includes adding left-turn lanes at major intersections, a raised median through the length of the project and upgrading or installing several traffic signals. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
TxDOT gathering public comments on proposed FM 1488 traffic signals, raised median

The proposed project spans 12.4 miles through Magnolia, Conroe and The Woodlands and includes adding left-turn lanes at major intersections, a raised median through the length of the project and upgrading or installing several traffic signals.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Julia De Leon, a Harris County Precinct 3 resident and essential worker, spoke Nov. 30 at commissioners court in favor of establishing the Harris County Essential Workers Board. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County creates board for essential workers during ongoing pandemic

Local essential workers will now be given a voice to improve working conditions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic after the Harris County Essential Workers Board was established during the Harris County Commissioners Court session Nov. 30.

(Courtesy Mastro's Restaurants)
Mastro's Ocean Club to open Dec. 8 at Market Street

The upscale seafood and steak restaurant is accepting reservations ahead of its opening.

The school board will consider whether to call a special election to fill the vacancy or make an appointment. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Hays CISD to hold special meeting on resignation of board member; Montgomery approves plan for downtown and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 2.

The Woodlands Township agreed to join an opioid settlement agreement program Dec. 1. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands Township agrees to join opioid settlement program

The township does not qualify for direct payments, but joining can open avenues for future grant funding.

The annual report indicates 15 businesses are in negotiations to relocate to The Woodlands. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership report indicates 5-year high for potential new businesses

The 15 businesses that are in negotiations could potentially bring in around 1,800 new jobs to the area

Zoo Lights is a light show within the Houston Zoo that happens every year. (Courtesy Houston Zoo Lights)
10 holiday light displays to see in the Greater Houston area

Check out these nine free and ticketed displays to see through December and January in the Houston area.

Tomball City Council approved a development agreement with Lovett Industrial for 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road Nov. 29. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tomball City Council approves development of 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road; JLB Eatery coming soon to Katy and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 1.

HCSO Assistant Chief Mike Lee presents information on the county's new safety policing initiative Nov. 30. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County approves $2.6M program to fight violent crime in unincorporated areas

“We are strategically pinpointing and then attacking crime, and the best part of it is we are doing it hand in hand with the community,” Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

Ringerz sells specialty doughnuts. (Courtesy Ringerz)
Ringerz doughnut shop opening Dec. 2 on Rayford Road

Ringerz sells scratch-made doughnuts, croissants, muffins, kolaches and breakfast sandwiches. ​​​​​​