Texas voter rolls grow to 15.6M ahead of midterm election

Texas has set a new voter registration record of 15.6 million people ahead of the highly-anticipated Senate race between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, The Associated Press reports.

Election records show that Texas has seen a 400,000-voter increase since March. The state on average added just over 100,000 voters a year between 2002 and 2014. What the AP is not reporting is how many of these registered voters are U.S. citizens. In Texas, having a driver’s license is enough to prove identity when voting– and illegals have drivers licenses.

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos told the Houston Chronicle that the state’s voter rolls have grown by 1.6 million since the last midterm election in 2014. Election records show that Texas has seen a 400,000-voter increase since March. The state on average added just over 100,000 voters a year between 2002 and 2014.

“Recently, we have heard from a number of county election officials who tell us they are witnessing voter registration rates and voter enthusiasm in a midterm year that we usually see before presidential-year elections, which is phenomenal,” Pablos said. “On the whole, we are seeing Texans become more engaged, which is very healthy for the future of our state.”

ABC News reports that Harris County had 55,000 voters register over the past six months, more than any other county. Voter rolls increased in Fort Bend and Montgomery counties by 3 percent. Voter registration in Collin and Denton counties north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area increased by almost 4 percent.

Hays County saw the biggest registration gain since March with a 4.4 percent increase.

Fort Bend, Collin and Hays counties are all in congressional districts with competitive races for Congress.

Some analysts note that registering to vote doesn’t necessarily mean that those registered will actually vote. According to recent election data, only 4.7 million out of the 14 million registered voters in 2014 voted.

Historically, voter turnout is higher in presidential cycles than in midterm elections, reaching nearly 60 percent in 2016 and 2012.

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 9.

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