November 03, 2007
One more look at the early vote

Houtopia continues the comparision of Early Vote 2007 to 2005, which he first looked at earlier this week.

2005 in-person early vote through Day 11: 53,152
2007 in-person early vote through Day 11: 32,947 (62% of the 2005 number)

2005 mail ballots returned through Day 11: 3,618
2007 mail ballots returned through Day 11: 6,432 (up 77% from the 2005 number)

2005 total votes through Day 11: 56,770
2007 total votes through Day 11: 39,379 (69% of the 2005 number)

So, while early in-person voting is way down from 2005, mail ballots are up significantly. In total, we are at 69% of the 2005 number. If the trend holds today and next Tuesday, that would put the City of Houston vote at about 132,000, and the countywide vote at about 229,000 - turnout in the neighborhood of 11-12%.

He's got a closer peek at some of the specific locations, and some reasons for why they may be up or down. Check it out.

He's also more optimistic than the Harris County clerk.

About 10 percent of registered voters will have cast ballots by the time the polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday, including those cast during the past several days, according to projections.

In Harris County, that turnout level is even lower than what would be expected normally for an election that essentially lacks drama and high-profile races, Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman said.

At first she thought about 15 percent of the county's 1.8 million registered voters would show up for the election, she explained, but she lowered her forecast after the number of people who took advantage of early voting fell short of projections.

The number who voted early in the county hit 50,000 as the 33 balloting sites closed, down markedly from the November 2005 election at the same juncture, officials said late Friday.

"It's just phenomenally low to me, considering what we have on the ballot," Kaufman said. The ballot includes votes on bond issues for school districts in Houston and some suburbs, mayoral and city council seats and a state proposition to issue bonds for cancer research.

Texas Secretary of State Phil Wilson predicted Friday a low turnout of 9.5 percent for Tuesday's constitutional amendments election.

"This election is important, and I encourage Texans to head to the polls and prove me wrong," he said in Midland, according to The Associated Press.


A 10 percent turnout of the city's 911,000 registered voters -- about half of the county's voter rolls -- would yield about 91,000 votes in a city of 2.1 million residents.

In the 2005 election, 189,000 people voted and gave [Mayor] White 93 percent.

The City of Houston has 911,000 voters, and Harris County has 1.8 million. Houtopia's projection comes out to about 14% for Houston and 13% for Harris County. I think he's closer to the mark, since it doesn't appear that turnout is down by more than half, which is what would need to happen for there to be only 91,000 votes cast in Houston. We'll see who's right. What's your guess?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 03, 2007 to Election 2007

Don't you think turnout two years ago was a bit driven by Prop 2 issue banning gay marriage in Texas?

Posted by: Burt Levine on November 3, 2007 10:09 PM

He is right for Houston, too high for Harris County.

Posted by: Gary Denton on November 4, 2007 4:15 PM