WACO, Texas — In just one week Texas will hold its 2022 primary elections, but history shows that registered voters tend to sit this one out.
"They tend to be under 20 percent. Compare that to midterm elections where it's like 45 percent to a president election where it's 55 to 60 percent," political science professor, Dr. Pat Flavin, told 25 News. "Primary elections definitely qualify as low turnout elections."
With just a few days left for early voting, McLennan County Election Administrator Jared Goldsmith said they've only seen about 4 percent of eligible voters already.
"I thought we were going to have higher turnout for this election than we've seen so far, however looking at past-like elections such as primaries, we are pretty much on par with where we've been," Goldsmith said.
So what do these numbers mean for the candidates? Dr. Flavin said studies show the number of voters can impact election outcomes.
"If people go to vote and they haven't done much research on the candidates, they will at least know the incumbent's name so the incumbent can benefit from that," he said. "The more people who vote, generally the incumbents do better. Whereas fewer people who vote challengers still aren't favored to win but they have a better chance."
The League of Women Voters Texas says every single vote matters, especially in primary elections. They encourage people to tell friends and family if they participate in an election to raise awareness and motivate others to vote as well.
"When you do that, that puts a sort of a mild social pressure on your friends to vote," LWV President Grace Chimene said. "You said 'I voted and I expect you to go out and vote too.'"
Early voting will continue this week through Friday. The primary is on Tuesday, March 1.
For more information on voting in Texas, you can visit Texas Voting Information (vote411.org)