Early voting in Texas exceeds total ballots cast in 2016


More Texas voters have cast ballots in this year’s general elections than in the entirety of the 2016 elections, according to the state’s latest early vote tallies.

With four days to go until the Nov. 3 elections and one day of early voting left, more than 9 million Texans have cast their ballots, surpassing the 8,969,226 votes cast four years ago.

The milestone, a remarkable sign of voter enthusiasm in 2020, sets a new record for voting in the Lone Star State. Of the more than 9 million ballots cast, the vast majority — 8,062,615 — came from Texans voting early in-person. Another 947,235 people have voted by mail. 

Nationwide, at least 82 million people have already voted in the 2020 general elections, according to the United States Elections Project, far more than the 58 million early in-person or mail votes cast in 2016. 

The early voting numbers out of Texas do not say anything about which way the state will go in the presidential election. What’s more, voters in Texas do not register with a political party, making it impossible to know for sure which party has the current advantage in voter turnout.

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But the sky-high early-voting numbers speak to the intense motivation to vote in one of the closest-watched and most-polarized presidential elections in modern U.S. history.

Texas, a longtime Republican stronghold that hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976, has come into play for Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the final stretch of the presidential race. 

Most recent polls show President Trump leading by low-single digits in the state, suggesting a much closer race than in 2016 when Trump carried Texas by a 9-point margin. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), is slated to travel to Texas on Friday, a sign that Democrats are making a last-minute bid for the state.

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