Texans vote on state's new plates

February 10, 2008 10:00:00 PM PST
What new license plate design is the top vote getter? The Texas Department of Transportation conducted a weeklong vote at www.txdot.gov to decide if Texans will keep the current plate or choose one of four new, fancier designs.

Now the votes are in, but they're still considered unofficial. According to the website, "We are analyzing and reviewing the votes to make sure there are no anomalies. By the end of this week, we will announce the top vote-getter."

But until then, here's the tally.

  • The top vote getter - Lone Star Texas - A white star stands out in the top left corner along with wide brushes of red and blue against a large Texas sky. A low-lying mountain range runs along the bottom.
    Total votes: 456685
  • New Texas - This red, white and blue plate features a composite of skylines from several Texas cities at the bottom and the word "Texas" in black script at the top.
    Total votes: 127035
  • Traditional Texas - This plate features blue highlights and a stark, white background with a gold Texas star at the bottom and a bold, red "Texas" in capital letters at the top.
    Total votes: 162217
  • Natural Texas - The plate is covered with wildflowers.
    Total votes: 295057
  • My Texas - For the purposes of the vote, TxDOT named the current plate "My Texas."
    Total votes: 114662
The new plate will come out in 2009. Whatever the result, the new plates will add a seventh digit because the state is running out of six-digit combinations, said Rebecca Davio, TxDOT's director of vehicles, title and registration.

By law, the Texas Transportation Commission must approve the state's general-issue plate. TxDOT officials believe commissioners will pick the plate that Texans endorse.

"We're trying to listen to what our customers are saying," Davio said. "In case Texans really like the existing plate, they can choose that."

The new designs all feature the state's name on top and "The Lone Star State" on the bottom.

The state's plate design hasn't changed much over the years. For most of the 20th century, Texas stuck with black-and-white plates, followed by blue and white in the 1970s. In 1986, they became red, white and blue.

Except for the occasional appearance of a small Texas flag in the 1990s and today's design that features a space shuttle and a cowboy, there's been little in the way of splashy graphics.

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