More Texas voters already cast their ballots early this election than all who voted in the last presidential election, according to data analyzed by the Election Project, which tracks election data by state.
Texas and Hawaii already exceeded their 2016 voter turnout before a single vote was cast Tuesday.
Texas is also one of only three states to have already cast the most number of votes before Election Day. Of Texas’ 16.9 million registered voters, 9.7 million had already voted before Tuesday, compared to more than 8.9 million Texans in total who voted in 2016.
California and Florida voters also cast the most votes before Election Day, according to the Election Project.
In Texas, the overwhelming majority – 8.7 million – voted in person. Roughly 973,000 voted through mail-in ballots as of October 30, the last day of in-person early voting.
In the state’s largest county, Harris County, one long-time election judge, Felicia Cravens, reports that more than 12,000 early voters cast their ballots in-person at her polling station alone.
“I can’t tell you how many mail ballots we’ve canceled for folks in two weeks of early voting. Boxes of them,” Cravens tweeted on October 26. “Many tell us they were worried about COVID when they applied for mail ballots, but feel less at risk voting in person now.
“And it’s amazing how many people of advanced age are coming through our polling location. We keep hearing them talk about how important the experience is to them, how motivated they are to vote in person. It’s a serious occasion,” she said.
The 12 most-populated counties account for 60 percent of votes cast in the state, and account for roughly 61 percent of the state’s registered voters. In the two largest counties, Harris and Dallas, both exceeded 57 percent early voting turnout.
Chuck Devore, vice president of national initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, told Fox News that up to 2 million Texans could vote on Election Day, with many “skewing heavily” toward Trump.
DeVore also cautioned in a column published by Forbes that “Early voting typically favors one major party or another, with Democrats or Republicans generating an edge with mail or in-person early voting on a state-by-state basis. But the pandemic has likely upended that. As a result, early voting numbers need to be even more carefully considered.”
He suggests in a conservative estimate that “assigning all the new and unidentified voters to the Democratic or minor party column would generate an estimated turnout of about 56 percent Republican to 41 percent Democrat with 3 percent other” on Election Day.
RealClearPolitics has Trump winning Texas by a 2.6 percent margin.
A Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Tyler poll has Democratic candidate Joe Biden leading Trump by 3 points. Texas hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1976.