Sunday, December 13, 2009
Yesterday, Annise Parker was elected to be Mayor of Houston. Congratulations to Mayor-Elect Parker. I’ve attached the article from the on-line edition of the Houston Chronicle if you’d like details about the election. It’s interesting reading.
The headlines last night and this morning will make a big deal about Ms. Parker being openly gay. What may not get as much attention is that only 16.5% of Houston’s 941,000 registered voters showed up for the run-off election, only 18.4% in November when 4 candidates were running.* Ms. Parker won 52.8% (81,971) of yesterday’s votes.
I don’t mean to diminish her victory in any way, except to state the obvious. 83.5% of registered voters didn’t make it to the polls. No doubt the people of Houston are preoccupied by other, more important problems which only our federal government can address, the profound nature of which may make city government seem petty and irrelevant. Whatever their specific reasons, the vast majority of the Houston electorate clearly didn’t care who got elected.
Only 8.7% of registered voters cast their votes for Ms. Parker – even less of the total eligible to vote, including those who didn’t register. She’ll govern, and probably govern well given her history. Unfortunately, as long as she doesn’t make any serious mistakes, no one will care, no one will be paying attention.
*Total votes cast in this 2 person run-off election were 155,302 which is 16.5% of 941,224 registered voters. Total votes cast for Mayor in the November 3 election were 173,151 which is 18.4% of registered voters.