Early voting in person continues through Friday. Turnout continues to be record-setting but has shown signs of slowing down in the 15 counties with the most registered voters. Monday’s turnout was significantly down in counties that reported results by this evening.

Through Sunday, 2.66M Texans had voted early in those 15 counties, a 42% increase above the first seven days of early voting in 2012, 50% above 2008 and 145% above 2004. This was the fourth straight day that those percentages have declined and the sixth straight day that the percentage comparisons to 2008 and 2012 have declined. In other words, turnout is getting less ahead of prior years’ totals each day.

Dallas Co. actually experienced a drop in early voting over the weekend compared with past presidential election cycles. Just over 47K people voted there over the weekend, down 12K (20%) from 2012 and 15K (24%) from 2008.

One reason turnout is higher overall than in past years is the larger number of registered voters. There are 13% more registered voters in the 15 counties now than in 2012 and 15% more than in 2008. Through Sunday, 27% of registered voters in those 15 counties had voted early, either in person or by mail, compared with 22% in 2012 and 21% in 2008.

According to Republican campaign consultant Derek Ryan, 12% of early voters in 20 of the state’s largest counties have no recent election history. That number has been creeping upward since early voting began. El Paso and Hidalgo Cos. have the highest percentage of votes cast by people with no prior voting history (17%). New voters represent the smallest share of votes in Smith (9%), McLennan (9%) and Tarrant (11%) Cos.

Voters with no recent primary election history also represent an increasing share of votes cast. They comprise 27% of early votes through Sunday.

Ryan’s analysis continues to show voters with recent primary voting history remain a majority of early votes cast. About 35% of early voters have recent Republican primary history, and 25% have recent Democratic history. These figures include the 2.5% of voters who have recent history in both primaries.

Today (Monday) was the eighth day that Texans could cast ballots early in person. Several of the state’s most populous counties recorded their lowest weekday turnout. Some highlights:

  • Harris Co. saw its second-lowest weekday turnout of in-person voters. Monday’s turnout was just 5% higher than the corresponding day in 2012 and 17% higher than in 2008.
  • Tarrant Co. saw its lowest weekday turnout of in-person voters. About 3K fewer voted in person on Monday than on Friday, an 8% decline. Same day turnout was just 1% above the corresponding day in 2008.
  • Bexar Co. saw its lowest weekday turnout of in-person voters on Monday. Just under 34K voted in person on Monday, almost the same number as on Day Eight in 2008 and slightly more than in 2012.
  • Travis Co. saw its lowest weekday turnout, by a significant margin, of in-person voters on Monday. The 24K in-person voters was 33% lower than the single-day high set last Tuesday and 26% lower than Friday’s total. Same day turnout was 3% below 2008’s Day Eight.
  • Denton Co. saw its second-lowest weekday turnout of in-person voters.
  • Montgomery Co. saw its lowest weekday turnout of in-person voters, but the total was not significantly lower than other days. Nearly 12K voted in person on Monday, about 12% below Saturday’s high and just 4% below last week’s weekday average.
  • Williamson Co. saw a dramatic drop in turnout Monday. Just over 9K people voted early in person Monday, 36% fewer than the number who voted on Friday and 45% fewer than last Monday’s high. Turnout has fallen every weekday but once since Monday. Despite the large drop, same day turnout was still 43% ahead of the same day in 2012 and 45% ahead of 2008.
  • Nueces Co. saw its lowest weekday turnout of in-person voters, down 16% from Friday.

We do not have reports from the other counties with the most registered voters, but we expect a similar pattern in their turnout.