Record Number Of Voters Mail Ballots This Primary

A record number of Harris County voters are submitting mail-in ballots for the primary election this year.

With all the legal disputes over redistricting, the Texas primary is much later than normal this year.

But Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart says voters have already exceeded the record number of mail-in ballots and more are
coming in every day.

“The record was made back in 2008, of course the big last presidential. And we hit 29,970, that was the total ballot-by-mails requested. And so far this year, we’ve already had 31,921 requested. So we’re going past it and we’ve still got another two weeks for people to request their ballot-by-mails.”

Stanart says most of the ballots come from voters who are over 65, mixed with some military and overseas ballots.

He says there are several reasons so many people are mailing in ballots this year.

“With our primary being delayed so long, people are just ready to vote. And also then we have our election day a day after a holiday — it’s almost in the summer. I think people are looking at being out of town. We’ve actually analyzed it and seen people who normally would vote on election day and who are eligible to vote early by mail are doing so.”

But Stanart says despite the record number of mail-in ballots, he expects overall voter turnout to be lower than the last presidential primary in 2008.

Early voting begins May 14th and the primary election day is May 29th.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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