Even with stiff competition in an election year featuring record-shattering early voter figures nationwide, Texas is seeing unparalleled early voting numbers and could be on track to exceed 2016 turnout ahead of election day.
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 13: Voters stand in line for the first day of early voting at the Metropolitan … [+] Multi-Services Center in Houston, Texas on October 13, 2020. (Photo by Mark Felix for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
The Washington Post via Getty Images Key Facts
Texans have already cast a staggering 8.45 million votes so far in 16 days of early voting, 94% of the 8.97 million total votes cast in 2016, according to the United States Elections Project’s early vote tracker.
Some experts predict turnout could reach as high as 12 million by Election Day, the Washington Post reported.
Texas trails only California in total votes cast by 30,000 – though California has over 10 million more people – but leads the nation in percent of 2016 turnout, ahead of Hawaii at 87%, Montana at 86%, New Mexico at 83% and Georgia at 82%.
A key reason for the massive early vote numbers is that Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican and ally of president Trump, extended the state’s early voting period but resisted efforts to join other states in relaxing mail-in voting restrictions.
That has led to Texans requesting just 906,000 mail-in ballots, trailing far less populous states like Michigan