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2014 Day Two EV totals

Here’s Houston Politics with the nickel summary.

EarlyVoting

The number of voters showing up at Harris County’s 41 early-vote locations was down by 25 percent for the second straight day on Tuesday, according to tallies released by the County Clerk.

A total of 20,380 registered voters cast a ballot on Tuesday, more than 7,000 fewer voters than cast one on the first Tuesday of early voting during the last midterm election in 2010. While Monday’s results revealed a massive increase in the number of mail ballots received this fall, the number received on Tuesday slightly trailed those seen on the corresponding Tuesday in 2010. A majority of the vote-by-mail ballots typically arrive on the first day.

A total of 21,612 votes were cast Tuesday, 1,232 of them mail ballots. On Monday, the first day of the two-week early-voting period, 61,735 total votes were cast.

For the second straight day, the poll location at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center served the highest number of voters: 1,401.

I would expect that last bit to be true most if not all days of EV. Your Day Two EV totals are here, and here are the full 2010 EV totals. In person totals are down for each of the first two days, but thanks to the massive absentee ballot haul on Day One, overall turnout remains up in Harris County, going from 79,221 after two days in 2010 to 83,347 in 2014. This year may not keep up with 2010 if Wednesday is like Monday and Tuesday, however. In addition, the single biggest day for mail ballots to be returned in 2010 was Thursday of the first week, when 5,825 of them arrived. We’ll keep an eye on those developments.

A couple of reports from Day One around the state. Here’s Zachary Roth:

In Tarrant County, which contains Davis’s home base of Fort Worth, 29,391 people voted Monday, nearly three times the comparable number for 2010. Heavily Hispanic El Paso County also saw a nearly threefold increase.

Harris County, which contains Houston, saw 61,735 voters Monday — an increase of more than 11,000 compared to the number who voted on the first day in 2010. Bexar County, containing San Antonio, saw an increase of nearly 7,000 voters. In Dallas and Travis (Austin) counties, the increases were respectively nearly 3,000 and nearly 1,000.

More than one-third of Texans live in those six counties.

And here’s Ed Sills, from his daily email report:

In 2010, the first-day total was 178,802 voters. In 2014, it was 240,634 voters. The entirety of that improvement is in mail voting, which has more than doubled to date. By most accounts, both Democrats and Republicans have strong mail-in Get Out the Vote programs, so the electoral meaning of the improvement is not clear. But it is clear mail-in voters do not have to flash a “voter ID” for their ballots to count.

As a percentage of registered voters, the first-day turnout this year was 2.68 percent, a 25 percent improvement over the 2.14 percent turnout of 2010. This year, the Secretary of State counts an increase of more than 600,000 registered voters, to 8,978,313, in the large urban counties, so that 2.68 percent comes out of a higher voting universe.

The ultimate 2010 turnout for all of Texas was 38 percent of registered voters. While it is too early to suggest that the first-day turnout is indicative of what the change will be for the entire election, a 25 percent improvement in that percentage would bring turnout to 47 percent this year. The biggest wins for Democrats since 1970 – the sweep of 1982 and Gov. Ann Richards’s victory in 1990 – have involved turnouts of just over 50 percent. The last time a gubernatorial race drew 50 percent of the voters was 1994, when George W. Bush defeated Richards.

No governor’s race since then has even hit the 40 percent turnout mark.

So a potential for change this year is reflected in the first-day numbers, but again, is it enough?

One interesting sign: The largest first-day large-population turnout in terms of percentage was in Hidalgo County, at 3.11 percent, compared to 2.32 percent in 2010. Second largest: Nueces County, at 3.09 percent, compared to 2.01 percent last time.

“Most Astonishing” award goes to Tarrant County, which nearly tripled its first-day total. With hometown Sen. Wendy Davis’s run for Governor and a hot Texas Senate contest, Fort Worth and environs saw a 10,263 first-day vote total in 2010 rise to 29,217 in 2014.

Even traditionally low-turnout early voting counties that tend to go Democratic, like Cameron and El Paso, are up significantly over 2010, though their first-day turnouts remain lower than the other large counties.

Harris County experienced an 11,000-vote Day One increase and cast 61,735 votes, or about a quarter of the big-county total.

The Republican strongholds of Montgomery, Williamson and Collin counties also saw healthy increases in first-day voting, so once again, the big-county totals can’t be used to predict much. But I’m confident another 38 percent turnout would signal inertia and tilt toward the status quo. The prospect of more voters in 2014, in my view, is a necessary ingredient of change.

Still a long way to go, and a lot of possibilities. Have you voted yet? Audrey wants to come with me when I vote, so I’m targeting Saturday for my turn.

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One Comment

  1. Nueces and Hidalgo, along with Cameron, are the biggies. Any chance at all for statewide Dems hinges on Hispanic turnout in the Valley, of course.