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Friday was indeed a strong finale to early voting: nearly 465K people voted in person and by mail in the 15 counties with the most registered voters. That’s 30K fewer than on the last day in 2016 but otherwise higher than any other last day in history. It’s nearly 213K more voters than the last day of early voting in 2014.

Friday was the busiest day during the period for in-person voting, and second overall (including mail ballots) to the first Monday.

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In the 15 counties, a total of 4.1M people voted early as of Friday, second only to 2016 (4.5M). It is 2.4M more than in 2014. In fact, the whole early voting period more closely tracked a presidential election than a gubernatorial election.

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A handful more votes were cast early in Williamson Co. this year than in 2016. Otherwise, early votes this year ranged from 82% of the 2016 early total (Hidalgo Co.) to 97% (Travis Co.).

In the 30 counties with the most registered voters, nearly 4.9M people voted in person or by mail, representing nearly 40% of registered voters in those counties. Collin (49%), Williamson (49%), Comal (48%), Travis (47%) and Hays (47%) Cos. had the highest percentage turnout. Webb (26%), Cameron (26%), Bell (30%), El Paso (31%) and Hidalgo (32%) Cos. had the lowest percentage turnout.

Statewide, we estimate around 6.1M people voted early, which is second only to 2016.

Because mail ballots will continue to arrive and be counted, the final early vote totals will rise from numbers reported here.

Early voting has represented the majority of votes cast since 2006.

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Two years ago, a record 73.5% of all votes cast were early/absentee votes. Fewer than 2.4M votes were cast on Election Day in 2016, which is fewer than in 2006 (2.7M) and just barely above 2010 (2.3M). Since 2006, the average number of votes cast on Election Day has been just over 2.5M. That would put statewide turnout around 8.6M, which would be a record for a gubernatorial election and nearly 4M more than 2014.

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC