SXSW 2023

Low Turnout in Texas Primaries and How to Fix it


Most Texan voters skip the primary elections. This in turn means that a select few people pick the nominees of the two major parties. According to the Texas secretary of state, 17.1 million Texans are registered to vote. The U.S. Census Bureau says there are 29.1 million people in Texas and that 21.7 million of them are 18 years old or older. And a shocking 82.4% of those voters didn’t show up to vote in the 2022 Midterm Primary. During this panel, leading experts will share ways in that we can increase participation in all Texas elections to increase turnout. Whether that be from increasing turnout near the border, introducing electronic returns, and educating voters on deadlines and dates.

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  1. Partisan gerrymandering means that a tiny fraction of the electorate who vote in primaries effectively chooses who gets elected.
  2. Innovative ideas to make our democracy more inclusive, including ranked choice voting and mobile voting, are gaining momentum.
  3. We can fight back against regressive policies and fight for a more inclusive democracy and preserve voting rights for future generations.



Nomalanga Shields, Associate, Tusk Philanthropies

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Civic Engagement
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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