Nacogdoches voters could help decide representation at the state level

Nacogdoches voters could help decide representation at the state level
Dr. Ken Collier
Dr. Ken Collier

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Tomorrow will be the last day to register to vote in the November election. Although the Columbus Day holiday will create delays in the mail, postmarks won't make any difference.

The cards must be in the Nacogdoches County Voter Registrar's office by tomorrow. Any registration cards that come in any later won't be honored.

When Debra Gaston, the Nacogdoches County voter registrar, isn't on the phone, she's processing a box full of voter registration cards.

"We have several thousand new registration applications that we're working on," Gaston said.

What could make a difference is who registers and how they'll vote. Although votes may not play a big difference in the final Texas results for the presidential election, those votes will play a big role in state representation.

Who are these people, and how will they vote? Even Dr. Ken Collier, who wrote the book on "Lone Star Politics" isn't sure. Neither side is excited, nor is there one central issue that will push voters to the polls.

"Neither side is that excited right now," Collier said. "We don't have one big surge of support that really looks like it's gonna shape the elections."

So what does Texas need to guarantee a good turnout in November?

"I think when you have a big, sexy issue I think it helps voter turnout," Collier said.

Even though the national budget may not be the "sexy" issue that Collier was talking about, he said, "Your vote does make a difference in the state of Texas."

The big issues have made differences in recent elections, Collier said.

"It helped the Democrats in 2008 when Obama was generating a lot of excitement," Collier said. "And it helped the Republicans in 2010 when the Tea Party movement was bringing in some excitement to them."

Republican Travis Clardy is unopposed in the local state representative race. Is he concerned about political shifts elsewhere? Not really.

"I think the numbers are going to wind up somewhere in the low 90's in the state House where I'll serve for Republicans, but of that group of people, I think we see a significant shift to the right as far as ideology and conservatism go," Clardy, who is the unopposed GOP candidate for state House District 11, said.

Yet, every politician and political scholar knows Lone Star politics can change with the weather. In 2012, it's appearing to be a slow-moving storm.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.