*Note: This article has been updated with new voter turnout numbers and percentages, as data has been updated on October 31.
Voters in 10 Texas counties have already surpassed 2014 total voter turnout during this year’s early vote.
According to preliminary data from the Texas Secretary of State, voters in Collin, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Hidalgo, Williamson, Brazoria, Lubbock, Hays and Comal counties surpassed 2014 numbers for cumulative in-person ballots cast and ballots mailed in.
El Paso, home county to Democratic nominee Beto O’Rourke who is challenging U.S. Senator Ted Cruz for his seat, saw the biggest spike in voter turnout so far. Early numbers on Wednesday counted 107,246 votes so far this year, up from 2014’s 79,689 votes (note: all cumulative numbers include in person voting and mailed in ballots. 2014 numbers include early voting and election day). This year’s voter turnout so far in El Paso County is 134 percent of what it was in 2014.
The next county to see a bigger increase this year compared to 2014 is Collin County, where 220,974 votes have been tallied so far. Four years ago, Collin County had 175,617 total votes. This year has already seen a 125 percent voter turnout when compared to 2014 numbers.
Numbers for other top 10 counties where voter turnout has already exceeded 2014 numbers include:
- Williamson County, where 106,099 votes have been cast, compared to 103,070 votes in 2014. This year’s voter turnout is a 121 percent turnout compared to four years ago;
- Denton County, where 172,332 votes have been collected, a 120 percent turnout compared to 2014’s 142,683 votes;
- Lubbock County where 56,133 people have voted. That’s a 116 percent turnout from 2014’s 48,019 votes;
- In Hays County, 45,812 votes are in so far, making up 115 percent of 2014’s 39,688 total votes;
- Fort Bend County has 150,928 votes cast so far, making up 115 percent of 2014’s 131,061 votes;
- Brazoria County voters have cast or mailed in 70,282 ballots, which is 111 percent of 63,013 votes cast in 2014;
- Comal County has seen 38,664 votes, accounting for 111 percent of 2014’s share of 34,720 votes.
These numbers for this year’s election are preliminary and may be even higher after the secretary of state reports final numbers.
As Reform Austin previously reported, more than twice as many Texans in the state’s most populated counties voted during the first week of this year’s early voting than they did during the first six days of the 2014 midterm election.
Early voting concludes on Friday, November 2nd. More counties have longer hours for early vote this week, allowing greater opportunities for voters to participate in this election.