Harris Co. saw its one millionth voter today, the first time any Texas county has had 1M ballots cast early. According to the county clerk’s office, 1.02M people have voted in person (876K) and by mail (145K) through the end of today. Approximately 103K mail ballots have yet to be returned. In the 2016 general election, just under 100K of the 1.3M Harris Co. voters cast ballots by mail.
In a normal general election year, early voting would have ended on its second Friday. Instead, one more week remains. Sometime today (Friday), early voting turnout statewide will set an all-time record for number of votes cast. The state entered the day about 185K voters short of the previous record set in 2016.
Through yesterday (Thursday), the 10th day of early voting, nearly 6.4M Texans – 37.6% of registered voters – have cast ballots in person (5.6M) or by mail (788K).
Looking just at the 15 counties with the most registered voters, yesterday was the second day (Saturday) that did not set an all-time record for single-day voting. In those counties, 329K people voted – a figure that is likely to rise by 2K-4K after counties refine their totals over the next few days – as voters declined for the third straight day. The daily total fell below 2008 (381K), 2018 (351K) and 2016 (346K). In those years, the second Thursday was the second-to-the-last day of the early voting period.
In those 15 counties, a total of 4.36M people have already cast ballots, nearly 1M more than in 2018 and 705K more than in 2016 through 10 days.
According to Republican strategist Derek Ryan’s most recent analysis of early voters in the 30 counties with the most registered voters, a little over 5M people who have voted in the past four years have not yet cast ballots. Of those, 1.3M are Republican primary voters, 900K are Democratic primary voters, and the rest voted in the 2016 and/or 2018 general elections but not a primary.
Across the 30 counties, about one out of every eight votes cast so far has been by someone who has not voted in any of the last four primary or general elections. That’s roughly 665K voters with no previous election history in those counties. About one out of every nine votes has been cast by Texas under 30 years old.
Women (52.4% of votes cast) are out-voting men (43.4%) so far. A little over 4% of voter records do not indicate gender.
House Speaker: Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) became the first member to file paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission establishing a campaign for Speaker.
CD6 (Lean Republican): The Fort Worth Star-Telegram endorsed U.S. Rep. Ron Wright (R-Arlington). The editorial board’s trickling of editorials is interesting as this one comes on the 11th day of early voting after 440K Tarrant Co. residents (36% of registered voters) have already cast ballots.
Absentee Drop-off Sites: An appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling permitting counties to have multiple absentee ballot drop-off locations. The state is expected to appeal the ruling.
AG (2022): District Judge Jason Luong (D) has ordered Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton’s (R) oft-delayed criminal trial will be moved back to the 416th Judicial District in Collin Co. from which it originated. In March 2017, the case was transferred from that court to the 185th District Court in Harris Co.
In his one-page order, Luong said his court no longer has jurisdiction on the case. Prosecutors assigned to the case have said they would appeal the decision. Perhaps anticipating this, Luong added that, if an appellate court determined he did have jurisdiction, he would nonetheless rule that the 2017 decision to transfer the case to Harris Co. “should be set aside.”
Paxton, who has maintained his innocence throughout, was indicted more than five years ago on felony securities fraud charges for alleged activities in 2011 and 2012. A similar federal case has been dismissed twice.
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