Are you one of the few who show up?

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05/24/2016 | Author: Brandon Alderete

In Lehman’s Terms

This week’s column was written by Brandon Alderete, director of political affairs for the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

Quick question: If today is an election day, where are all the voters?

Today’s primary runoff elections may not be as glamorous (or noisy) as the November presidential election, but these races are more important than many voters realize because they determine who will be on that ballot in November.

Candidates definitely get the significance of these elections. That’s why you’ve no doubt seen a few tell-tale election indicators over the past few months: campaign signs surrounding polling places in your community, glossy political mailers in your mailbox, and 30-second TV ads extolling a particular candidate’s virtues or highlighting the opposition’s dastardly deeds.

But all that advocacy leads me to ask: Where are all the voters?

Did they forget? Don’t they care? 

History tells a story (of apathy)
If the past is any indication, somewhere around 1 million Texans will vote in today’s crucial primary runoffs. That sounds like a lot of votes, but it’s really only about 7% of registered voters statewide.

That’s right … in a state of about 25 million people, we have about 14.2 million registered voters,  and only about one in 14 of them will show up today.

Think of it this way: If you are participating in this election, you have a tremendous responsibility—you’re speaking for yourself and about 13 other people.

No excuses, please
Even people who are registered to vote give excuses for not voting, and almost all of these excuses are either poorly reasoned or easily remedied.

When someone says “I’m sick of politics,” I explain that those who don’t vote are just as responsible for the current political environment as those who participate. And they won’t effect change by sitting on the sidelines.

When someone says “But my vote doesn’t matter,” I say it’s really true that every vote counts. In fact, one Texas race during the March primary election resulted in a 13-vote difference between two candidates out of 135,000 votes cast!

My favorite is when someone says “There’s not enough information to make a decision.” This allows me to remind them of the myriad places to find election information. For example, the Texas Association of REALTORS® is just one of the many organizations that interviews candidates and reviews incumbents’ voting records before deciding who to support. Visit to see the candidates who have earned support from one of the largest consumer watchdogs at the Texas Capitol. You can even enter your address and print your own personal voting guide.

Easy rebuttals to these and other excuses lead me to make only two possible conclusions when considering our state’s abysmal voter-turnout numbers: voters forget or they don’t care.

Make time to make a difference today
Some people have their reasons for not voting, and that’s fine. But if you’re reading this, you can’t say you forgot.

Stop by your polling place before 7 p.m. today so you don’t miss this chance to shape our future. Otherwise I’ll think you don’t care.

Categories: In Lehman's Terms
Tags: in lehman's terms, governmental affairs, political affairs, elections, primary election, vote


Tom Jensen Morgan on 05/24/2016

Thank you Brandon and Mark for this important reminder.  I had totally forgotten that I needed to vote today, and it was only your e-mail that reminded me.

I really appreciate everything that you and TAR do to keep us informed.

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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