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Travis County, Texas surpass 2016 turnout during early voting—with Election Day sure to widen margin
(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.

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