In Eighteen Texas Counties, Zero Votes Cast in One or Other Major Party Primary

The Democratic and Republican Parties of Texas held their primaries on May 29. In thirteen counties, no one voted in the Democratic primary; and in five counties, no one voted in the Republican primary. The primary was for president and all other partisan office. See this story. Thanks to Jerry Kunz for the link.


  1. This is what happens when the mass media, and the parties themselves, play down competition in the presidential races. No one in the Democratic party wants to admit that there are challengers to the incumbent. No one in the Republican party wants to admit that Ron Paul is still in the running. Since the Mass media consumed by many members of those parties will not report on such things, few in those parties know or care.

  2. Demo Rep · · Reply

    Are the counties involved occupied totally by UFOs and party hack robots (literally) ???

  3. Jim Riley · · Reply

    In Texas, party primaries are conducted by the political parties, but according to state law, and state financed. In parallel to the general election, administration is at the county level.

    So for example, a candidate for a county-level or single-county district nomination files with the county chair of his party, while a candidate for a statewide or multi-county district nomination files with his party’s state chair. The state chair then sends lists of candidates who have filed to the county chairs.

    If a party is not organized in a county, no primary is held in that county. Each party has its own polling places. At one time, the polling places had to be in separate buildings, now they can be in the same building so long as there are separate entrances. Each party provides its own election clerks, though they likely also work the general election.

    The county parties ordinarily rent voting machines from the county clerk (or election administrator). They would also contract for programming and vote-tabulation services. They county also provides the voting rolls to be used in the election precincts.

    From a voter perspective, the elections are not readily distinguishable from the general election, other than a voter goes to a Republican or Democratic polling place, rather than a common polling place.

    And early voting is conducted by the counties. Early voters go to an early voting location, choose a party and then go vote on a Republican or Democratic voting machine. So this obscures the distinction whether the primaries are county run or party run.

    After the votes are counted and canvassed by the political parties they provide lists of their nominees to secretary of state and county clerks.

    There are a variety of reporting requirements that increase the appearance of state-run elections. On election night, county parties are required to send unofficial vote counts to the secretary of state, who posts them on their website.

    The same county-based system is used for the convention-nominating parties (Libertarian and Green). They only hold county conventions in some counties – typically the larger more urban counties.

    The conventions are truly conducted by the parties. While candidates are required to file with their party, just like Republicans and Democrats, there is no official state or county record of these filings. The Secretary of State provides links to the web sites of the parties listing their candidates as a courtesy, until the parties actually tell the SOS whom they have nominated.

  4. Jim Riley · · Reply

    Even in counties where both parties conduct primaries, turnout difference can be extreme.

    For example

    Ochiltree: Republican 1486, Democratic 10
    Jim Hogg: Democratic 1717, Republican 10

    The two counties are on opposite ends of Texas, with county seats of Perryton and Hebbronville 700 miles apart.

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