For the second day in a row, in-person early voting surpassed totals for the 2016 presidential election in Dallas County. Numbers from the Texas Secretary of State show that 55,094 people voted here on Tuesday, down slightly from the 59,389 who cast their ballots on Monday. When you count mail-in ballots, the county has received 136,982 votes in the past two days, about 10.26 percent of its 1.3 million registered voters.
In 2016, a total of 451,041 cast ballots through early voting—we’re already about a third of the way there on day two. The turnout demolishes the first two days of the last midterm, in 2014, when Dallas County had recorded just 43,998 total votes. Two years later, during the presidential election, we had 134,235 votes through two days. There have been about 200,000 more votes statewide this time around, as well.
Most of Texas’ large counties continued the trend we saw on Monday. Harris County actually increased in-person turnout on the second day, adding about 1,000 more voters. Tarrant added another 3,000 or so, logging 43,814 total. Most Texas counties are hovering around 10 percent total turnout. Harris and Bexar are both in the 7s—Bexar because their turnout hasn’t been as high, Harris because it has a full million more registered voters than Dallas, the next largest county. It took just two days for El Paso County, home to the U.S. Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke, to surpass its 2014 mid-term totals: 39,602 this year, compared to 38,399 in 2014. Its turnout is currently 8.68 percent.
Collin County is flirting with 13 percent turnout, with 74,273 recorded votes. You’ll recall what Peter Simek wrote about the suburbs: they tend to lean Republican. But you could argue the other way, too; the large cities, particularly Dallas and Houston and Austin, tend to vote Democrat. And they’re bringing voters in droves.
About 1.6 million Texans added their name to the voter rolls this year, bringing the total to about 15.6 million. It’s hard to make predictions this early, but we’re certainly on pace for a record-setting two weeks of early voting. And, indeed, it doesn’t seem today’s rain was scaring anyone off—in a tweet, County Judge Clay Jenkins said another 15,097 had voted by noon. There were still seven hours to go.