Election 2016

More Than A Million People Have Already Voted Across Greater Houston

Harris County is at the top of the list for voter turnout so far in Texas, with more than 700,000 ballots cast.

Voters lined up since 8:00 a.m. at the Champion Life Centre, in Spring, on Monday October 24th, the first day of Early Voting.
Voters lined up since 8:00 a.m. at the Champion Life Centre, in Spring, on Monday October 24th, the first day of Early Voting.

More than a million people have already cast their ballots across Greater Houston for the presidential election.

Harris County is at the top of the list for voter turnout so far in Texas.

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

As of November 1st, more than 700,000 people had cast ballots, combining in person votes and those that have been mailed in.

Bob Stein, political science professor at Rice University, says the interest in this election is marked by high turnout in places where it is not that usual.

“We are seeing areas where there are new voters who are voting early who have previously not voted in presidential elections in 2008 and 2012, and even in, of course, 2014 mid-term,” says Stein, who details he is referring to places like northwest Harris County and neighborhoods such as The Heights and Montrose.

Stein also says a preliminary analysis makes him think the Democratic Party could have an advantage in Harris County because Houston has leaned in that direction in previous elections and people who vote early tend to be more partisan.

Stein adds there are also some other interesting trends.

“Between 2012 and 2016, I’ve identified 117,000 newly registered Hispanic surname voters in Harris County,” Stein notes. “And a disproportionate number of those voters, newly registered Hispanic voters, are voting early.”

Stein considers that, if theories indicating Hispanics are more prone to support Democrats are correct, the Democratic Party could have the edge in Harris County.

He also thinks that could translate into Republican political action committees buying more air time for advertising in Texas’ markets during the last week of the campaign.

The big turnout is setting records in surrounding counties, such as Fort Bend.

“We’re probably 30,000 voters ahead at this point in time from where we were in the last presidential in 2012, which was our heaviest early voting. Our biggest election ever was the last presidential. So, we are running well above that,” John Oldham, Fort Bend’s Elections Administrator, says. He added that they have received few complaints about the process.

Share

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

More Information