This report has been updated to remove ballots that have been mailed but not yet returned from Tarrant Co.’s totals. The new totals are more in line with the experiences of other counties and no longer the highest ever seen for a primary there. We accidentally transposed Bexar Co.’s numbers, and have corrected that mistake. We also corrected our reference to the 15 counties from which the Secretary of State collects daily turnout data.
Early voting for the March 6 primary election is underway. Generally speaking, Democratic turnout is sharply higher than in 2014, or any other mid-term election year, in several of the state’s largest counties. Republican turnout is more mixed. Some counties are seeing higher turnout than 2014 while others are seeing lower turnout.
Some of the state’s largest counties have reported their turnout for today, which includes (except where indicated) in-person voters today and ballots by mail received up to and including today:
- Harris Co.: 9,647 Republicans and 8,007 Democrats. Compared to 2014, Republican first-day turnout is down 14% while Democratic turnout is up 139%.
- Bexar Co.: 2,096
3,278Republicans in person only and 3,278 2,096Democrats in person only. Compared to 2014, in-person Republican turnout is down 11% up 38%and Democratic turnout is up 31% down 16%.
- Tarrant Co.: 6,338 Republicans and 5,313 Democrats. Compared to 2014, Republican turnout is down 12% while Democratic turnout is up 81%.
13,264 Republicans and 11,283 Democrats. Both figures are the highest the county has ever seen for the first day for any primary election. Compared to 2014, Republican turnout is up 84% and Democratic turnout is up 287%.
- Denton Co.: 2,485 Republicans and 1,159 Democrats. Compared to 2014, Republican turnout appears to be down 9%, and Democratic turnout appears to be up 318%, but we are not sure these voting rosters are complete.
- Hidalgo Co.: 550 Republicans and 5,276 Democrats. Compared to 2014, Republican turnout is up 3% and Democratic turnout is up 23%
- Montgomery Co.: 3,630 Republicans and 743 Democrats. Compared to 2014, Republicans turnout is up 9% and Democratic turnout is up 395%.
- Nueces Co.: 560 Republicans and 1,340 Democrats. Compared to 2014, Republican turnout is down 29% while Democratic turnout is up 183%.
Sometime tomorrow, we should have numbers from all 15
of the state’s most populous counties with the most registered voters. We have historical data going back to 2002. Technically, we have it going back farther, but some counties did not report daily, so data prior to 2002 is not usable to compare day-to-day turnout.
The 2014 numbers to beat for those 15 counties are 48,898 Republicans and 24,477 Democrats. The seven counties we’ve covered here sum to 29,784 Republicans and 29,904 Democrats, so Democratic Day One turnout has already exceeded the corresponding 2014 figure with eight counties and Bexar’s ballots by mail yet to be included.
The all-time Day One highs are 50,770 Republicans (2016) and 66,078 Democrats (2008).
These numbers are encouraging, but they pale in comparison to general election early voting. For example, in Harris Co., a little under 18K Day One votes were cast in this year’s primary election compared to nearly 62K in the 2014 general election and 129K in 2016.
©2018 Texas Election Source LLC