Not a whole lot of people have voted in the District H special election so far. You can see the daily totals here (PDF). Through Wednesday, a grand total of 832 in-person and mail ballots have been cast. I think it's safe to say that there are no lines at any of the early voting locations.
There's an interesting discussion on my Facebook page about turnout projections for this race. My back-of-the-envelope math is as follows: When I did my precinct analysis of City Council districts for the 2008 election, I calculated that approximately 7.75% of the total City of Houston vote came from District H. In the 2007 special election for At Large #3, there were 34,274 votes cast (PDF) citywide. Assuming a similar proportion, you get a final turnout of 2,656. Bert Levine suggested a range of 2,400 to 3,000 in that Facebook discussion, using the 2007 election as a guide, and I think that's dead on.
Needless to say, that means every vote counts. You have to figure that in a nine-candidate race, a 25% showing gets you to the runoff. Twenty percent is probably enough, but for sure twenty-five will do it. That means something like 600 or 700 votes is all you need. A candidate could conceivably do that just with people they and their volunteers know personally It doesn't get any more basic than that.
I have been asked numerous times who I am supporting in this race. The answer is that even after all this time, I still haven't made up my mind. While there are a number of good candidates in this race, it comes down to a choice between Maverick Welsh and Ed Gonzalez for me. They're the closest to my views on the issues, and I think either of them would do an outstanding job. I'll say who I'm voting for when I figure it out for myself. In the meantime, if you live in H, I hope you'll make up your own mind and cast a vote. You may never have such a great effect on a race again. Well, at least not till the runoff.Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 01, 2009 to Election 2009