(Bob Daemmrich)

More people voted early in Travis County this election than in the entire 2016 election. A lot more.


When early voting closed on Friday, 553,290 residents had voted early. The bulk of those—nearly 90%—voted in person. The remainder voted by mail or limited ballot, which is available to those in the process of moving.

All told, nearly 65% of Travis County's registered voters cast their ballots early.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott extended the early voting period by six days this election due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In comparison, only 374,052 residents—or just over half of those registered—voted early during the 2016 general election.

Factoring in Election Day turnout, which accounted for about 22% of votes, 477,588 people voted in Travis County in the last election—or around 75,000 fewer than have voted in this one, with Election Day tomorrow.

This trend is not limited to Travis County. Nearby, Hays and Williamson counties surpassed their 2016 numbers last week, and turnout is up statewide—and across the country—despite the ongoing pandemic.

More than 9.7 million Texans—or 57% of registered voters—cast their ballots early, according to the Texas Secretary of State's office.

This represents a nearly 11% increase in turnout compared to the 2016 presidential election, when fewer than 9 million Texans voted. Election Day turnout will further widen that margin.

Recent polls provide little insight into what the statewide results may be in the presidential election.

But researchers at the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin wrote in a Friday blog post that "we should expect some manifestation of the usual GOP advantage in Election Day voting," as Democrats are more likely to vote early and Republicans less likely to be deterred by rising COVID numbers.

(Laura Figi)

At the tail end of a tough year for retailers, Black Friday deals appeared to draw fewer shoppers into big box stores around Austin.

Keep Reading Show less
(Tito's Handmade Vodka)

Ingredients:

  • 750 mL Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 1 1/2 cup toasted pecans
Directions: Toast pecans in a 350°F oven until they become aromatic (about 5 minutes). Let pecans cool, drop them into a resealable jar, and fill with Tito's Handmade Vodka. Store in a cool, dark place for 1 month, if you can wait that long.
(Nan Palmero/CC)

Thanksgiving is over and the most wonderful time of year has officially begun. Christmas light shows have been a Texas tradition for years—so beloved that not even a pandemic could stop them from shining this year.

Keep Reading Show less
(Texas Longhorns/Instagram)
Game Preview: Longhorns face off against #13 Cyclones

The Texas Longhorns take the field for the first time in two weeks after postponements and bye weeks, making them one of the most well rested teams in the conference.

Keep Reading Show less
(MangoNic/Shutterstock)

Before the pandemic started, Adult Care of Austin on Menchaca Road didn't offer telemedicine appointments.

Now, the private practice conducts almost all of its visits virtually, either over the phone or on HIPAA-compliant video platforms.

Dr. Steven Dobberfuhl, an internal medicine physician, said telemedicine saved his practice—and has been a boon to his patients, around 75% of whom are 65 years or older and at high risk of contracting COVID-19.

"I didn't believe it would work as well as it has," he said.

Keep Reading Show less

Austin will see "big weather changes" this weekend, with likely thunderstorms Friday morning and early Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Keep Reading Show less
(Pexels)

From pandemic-inspired poetry to a graphic novel based on a Mayan legend, this holiday season offers titles for every taste. Below is a list of books from local authors to add to your Black Friday shopping cart or wintertime to-read list.

Keep Reading Show less