You know Election Day is the second Tuesday in November … but did you know what happens on a Saturday in May could have a greater impact on your daily life?

May 1 is local election day in Texas, and your community may have city or school board races or local propositions on your ballot.

Low turnout, big difference

Elections are especially important at the local level, as these are the people who make decisions that directly affect you, like which local projects receive funding and how high are the tax rates that determine your property tax bills.

But local elections historically have very low turnout compared to November elections, so every vote really does count—and it’s not uncommon to see these important races decided by just a handful of votes.

If you don’t want to spend your Saturday at a polling place, take advantage of early voting from Monday, April 19 to Tuesday, April 27.

Contact your county’s elections office to locate your polling places.

REALTORS® as voters

Historically, REALTORS® in Texas don’t sit out these elections. The numbers show that REALTORS® vote at a much higher rate than the average voter, and since REALTORS® are such a large portion of the registered voters in Texas, REALTOR® turnout has been the difference in dozens of local races over the years.

Your local association vets candidates through a member-driven candidate interview process, so look for the candidates who have earned TREPAC support for their positions on real estate-related issues.

Through the years, REALTORS® have supported hundreds of local candidates through TREPAC.

“We’ve seen local elections where the REALTOR® turnout can significantly exceed the turnout rate of the average voter—as much as 10 times higher in some races,” says Jeff Varnell, chairman of the Texas REALTORS® Political Involvement Committee. “When REALTORS® get behind a candidate, it makes a huge difference.”

“This is how we, as REALTORS®, can help build and shape our community, so I urge my colleagues around the state to make their voice heard.