Voter registrations have not kept pace with population growth over the past eight years. Despite a record 15M Texans registered to vote, a larger percentage of Texans are not registered than in 2008, and a significantly larger percentage of Texans did not cast ballots in the 2016 election.
The federal Census Bureau today released estimates for the voting-age population (VAP) in each state as of July 1, 2016. Almost 20.6 million people aged 18 or older were estimated to be living in Texas at that time, an increase of nearly 2.3 million from 2012.
Just short of 9 million Texans voted for one of the official candidates for president in 2016, which means that 11.6 million voting-age Texans did not.
In October, the Secretary of State issued a press release announcing that a record number of Texans had registered to vote. Based on its estimate of 19.3 million voting-age Texans, the Secretary of State said 78% of the VAP had registered to vote, an increase of 3 percentage points from 2012. We questioned that estimate at the time. Using estimates from the Census Bureau and the state demographer’s office, we concluded that voter registrations may have just barely kept pace with population growth.
Using the new Census Bureau estimate and the revised total of voter registrations, we find that voter registrations failed to keep pace with population growth.
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