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Texas Dead Last In U.S. For Voter Turnout, Near Bottom For Most Civic Duties


Compared to the rest of the country, Texans aren’t very civic-minded. And when it comes to participating in elections, the Lone Star State is dead last.

A new University of Texas study ranks Texas 51st out of all the states and Washington, D.C., for voter turnout. Voter registration is slightly better, Texas gets the 42nd spot.

One bright spot; Texas is 16th in the nation for exchanging favors with neighbors. But while Texans don’t mind picking up mail for neighbors on vacation, we’re still a little wary of them. According to the study, only 50 percent of Texans trust most people they live near.

The study was conducted by the University of Texas at Austin's Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. You can read the report here. And institute director Regina Lawrence writes for the Texas Tribune about why she thinks Texas ranks so low: demographics, noncompetitive elections and voters who feel uninformed. As she concludes: "Disengagement can be expensive."

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.