April showers bring May flowers…and if you haven’t noticed—municipal election campaign signs. Every available corner in Frisco has a bounty of colorful signs announcing the offices the various candidates are seeking and communicating their styles and personalities. This should be a clue to many of our residents that another election is again upon us and, yet, I am often amazed at the number of my Frisconians who are unaware of the upcoming election. This becomes frighteningly clear when considering voter turnout numbers in our beloved community. In 2017, even during a Mayoral election cycle, only around 14,000 voters turned out to use their voices in choosing local leaders for both the City Council and the FISD Board of Trustees. Including both the Denton and Collin County numbers in Frisco, we have over 88,000 registered voters. That means less than 16% show up to the polls in May.
I do believe the low voter turnout stems from multiple factors. Voter apathy results from not knowing about the candidates and issues, unawareness of the process, the busy-ness of life, and yes, even contentment. When things are going well in a community—and the rising market would tell us this is a desirable place to live and do business—residents tend to go along with the status quo, leading to less of an urgency to get to the polls. Even if this is where you stand, it is important to make voting a priority to ensure Frisco continues to be a great place to live, work, and play.
Lack of understanding of the process, the candidates, and the issues continues to be a barrier for many voters. Life is busy. There are those who consistently and constantly stay “in the know” on the issues that are important to our community (you know who you are out there!). And there are those who know there are important issues facing a fast-growing city like Frisco, yet, knowing the best candidate to solve those issues is overwhelming. So where should a voter begin to find information on the candidates?
Each election season, the Frisco Chamber of Commerce hosts candidate forums to provide opportunities to compare candidates on the issues that matter to voters. The forums are live-streamed on Facebook and now can be viewed on the Chamber Facebook
page as well as our Governmental Affairs
page. Other valuable resources include other forums around Frisco put on by various organizations, candidate questionnaires from the Dallas Morning News
, Community Impact
, and the League of Women Voters
. Information is out there, in multiple forms and sources, just waiting to help guide your decision-making process.
Still not convinced to participate in voting in local elections? Stop and consider that the government that most directly impacts every individual is the local one. It is the local governing body that provides police and fire protection and public safety. It is the local government that provides for trash, water, and sewers. It is the local government that provides building permits, roads, and infrastructure. It is the local government that provides parks, libraries, restaurant safety, and other public services. It is your local school board that educates our most precious resource and future workforce. Most of your daily routines and activities are impacted by the local municipality and ISD.
As I always say, if you are waiting until November to show up and do your civic duty of casting your vote…you’re several months too late. Your mantra should be “Every vote. Every time.” Take a few minutes to get educated on the candidates and the issues and go vote
. It’s time Frisco led the way in voter turnout as well as leading the way in being a wonderful place to call home.