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Westside voters dominating municipal election results

Published On: May 14 2013 07:16:06 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 07:38:57 PM CST

A closer look at why El Paso has a low voter turnout.

EL PASO, Texas -

More people vote in West El Paso and in the Upper Valley, while Central and the Lower Valley lag behind in voter turnout.

A new map on the county elections page shows how many people in every precinct voted for each candidate.

The map illustrates a decades-long trend: west El Paso dominates city-wide election results, said County Elections Administrator, Javier Chacon.

"Right away, you can see which sides of town are voting and which ones are not."

For example, at a fire station in the Upper Valley, 825 people voted on election day. Compare that to only 37 people who voted at the San Juan Recreational Center in Central El Paso, near Paisano Drive and the freeway.

"As much as we want them to participate, thats the right of everyone to vote and some exercise it and some don't. You have to respect them," Chacon said.

Political Science professor, Dr. Gregory Rocha, said the most important factors in voter turnout are age, socio-economic level and education. "With more education, people are most likely to vote for a wide variety of reasons - they're more aware of things, they're more informed and the older they are, the more likely, they'll vote, too."

Historically, Rocha said, the more affluent parts of the city have the highest voter turnout. Naturally, the candidates often reach out much more to people they know for certain will vote, he said. "And in a way that creates the self-fulfilling prophecy. You get contacted more - you're more likely to go out there and do something. You're not contacted and you're probably not going to be out there voting."

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