Monday, May 10, 2010

Voter Apathy And Six Votes

I know I am not the first to go on a voter apathy rant, nor will I be the last, so here it is:

Texas School Boards take up the bulk of resident property taxes, and children spend more waking hours at school than with their parents in a day, so one would think homeowners and parents would both be highly concerned about these boards. My own district, the Round Rock Independent School District Board of Trustees manages a whopping budget of $292 Million, and sets policy for those educating and protecting the community's children.

And yet, the turnout for Saturday's Board elections was approximately 3%. While happily Terri Romere won with 58% of the vote, Jennifer Shockley-Daniels is behind by 6 votes in the unofficial totals.

Six votes, people.

Not surprisingly, Shockley-Daniels won in Williamson County, but in the 20 Travis County precincts in the ISD, Austin lawyer and Democrat Catherine Hanna led by a significant margin. (Romere also lost in Travis County). In all, Hanna received 1,440 votes to Shockley-Daniels' 1,434 votes. This of course is in no way a repudiation of Jennifer Shockley-Daniels' candidacy, and I do hope she will run again next year.

In other election news, Don Tracy and Maria Talamo will face each other in a runoff election on June 12, for Cedar Park City Council.

I'm not sure what it takes to get residents to pay attention to these elections, but I suspect it would take a major failure on the part of the district. Sadly, if we do not hold our local elected officials accountable, major failure is entirely possible.

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