Political Participation Indicators:
in our region could be more vigorous. We see turnout above 55% in presidential elections, but for midterm elections turnout hovers around 40%. And it’s been ten years since more than 15% of eligible voters participated in the contest to elect a mayor of Houston. No evidence suggests that our poor electoral performance is likely to improve, especially for local elections
. Whatever the reasons for opting out, more political involvement would be better for our region. A robust body of research demonstrates that communities with high voter participation tend to enjoy heightened levels of social capital. As voting rates increase, local governments are more likely to address issues of high importance to citizens, and political polarization decreases. The more people who vote, the healthier the democracy.