Throughout history Texas has been known as one of the southern states with the most restrictive voting laws. Although these laws have been eliminated over the years, it has not eliminated the political participation behavior of Texans. Texas political participation rates contrast considerably with the entire nation. According to the Texas Civic Health Index, "participation rates are correlated with income, education, age, race/ethnicity, and citizenship status" (Strauss, Lawrence, Wise, and Einsohn). Texas citizens "with higher incomes and higher education levels and who are over 30" (Strauss, Lawrence, Wise, and Einsohn). The political participation rates in Texas, today, can be attributed to a variety of factors.
Race/ethnicity is a potential factor that impact participation rates in Texas. It is difficult for minorities to access resources that would prompt them to participate in politics. The state does not consider the political participation of ...view middle of the document...
Income, education and age are correlated with being registered to vote in Texas. Citizens with higher income and education levels are more likely to register to vote than those with lower income and education levels (Strauss, Lawrence, Wise, and Einsohn). The contrast with participation rates in Texas with the nation as a whole is the lack of engagement to young, low-income, uneducated and minority groups. These groups make up a large number of the citizens living in Texas. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that these factors affect the participation rates in Texas.
Low services in education have impacted the participation role of interest groups extremely. The culture in Texas impacts political participation for women, the poor and minorities. These three groups have struggled over decades to be heard. Progress has been made for them, however, financial resources, poor education and language barriers for minorities have made the progression difficult. Texas is considered to be a “red” state, which means that the Republican Party dominants the Democratic party in most ways. Republicans have more influence over state legislation; this is why the state leans towards social conservatism. For women, social conservatism implies traditional family values and beliefs. The role of being a mother and a wife is perceived as being of great importance in Texas. This way of thinking makes it difficult for women to devote more time and attention to their professional careers, as well as, their involvement in political participation. The political culture in Texas also has an impact on middle class citizens. Middle class citizens believe public education services should be a primary concern for the state. The state has failed to improve the accessibility of education services to interests groups that need it. The lack of attention education services is receiving from the state, deters Texans from any form of political participation. The political culture in Texas is focused on low taxes and low services. Low taxes results in low services, especially in education.
Strauss, Annette, Regina Lawrence, Deborah Wise, and Emily
Einsohn. "Texas Civic Health Index." Austin: 2013. < http://ddce.utexas.edu/vistas/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/TX-Civic-Health-Report_email.pdf>.