2023 final runoff Early Voting totals

Early voting has ended. Early takes are flowing in.

As of Tuesday night, nearly 132,000 votes – 120,155 in-person ballots and 11,732 mail ballots – had been recorded in Harris County, according to the Harris County Clerk’s Office. That compares to the 115,000 votes cast early in the county during the last runoff in a mayor’s race in 2019.


Far behind in fundraising and advertising, Jackson Lee’s chances rest heavily on boosting turnout from her supporters. According to the early voting numbers, her hopes of high turnout have yet to materialize, said Nancy Sims, a University of Houston political analyst.

“Right now, you’ve got Kingwood voting a thousand people a day, and Kashmere Gardens voting three hundred people a day. That’s just an example,” Sims said, referring to a predominantly white neighborhood and a predominantly Black neighborhood.

I’m not here to dispute the notion that SJL started out behind, or that what she really needs is to turn out more of her supporters, which is surely the hottest take you’ve ever read here. What I am here for is to take a closer look at the Kingwood versus Kashmere nugget, because my general rule is that data points are only really meaningful when they’re in context. Both the 2015 and 2019 Mayoral runoffs featured a candidate whose success depended in large part on generating turnout in the Black districts. Also, too, there are more places where lots of Republicans and lots of Black voters go to do their civic duty. So why not take a broader look at that and see what if anything we see? That’s what I’m here for.

Location      SRD    2015    2019    2023
Kingwood      127   6,595   8,092   8,381
Freeman       129   4,679   4,742   5,367
Nottingham    133   4,649   6,132   8,470
Total              15,923  18,966  22,218
Pct                14.04%  16.46%  16.85%

Hiram Clarke  131   2,701   2,692   3,924
Acres Homes   139   3,687   2,657   3,143
NE MSC        141   3,991   3,058   3,424
Kashmere      142   2,236   1,855   1,973
Sunnyside     146   4,257   3,723   4,630
Various       147   4,261   3,026   2,398
Total              21,133  17,011  19,492
Pct                18.64%  14.77%  14.78%

Metro MSC     134  10,540  11,138  12,748
Bayland       137   5,420   5,157   5,897
Trini M       138   6,962   7,048   9,872
Moody     148/145   1,609   2,009   2,862
Alief ISD     149   2,668   2,872   2,179
Total              27,199  28,224  33,558
Pct                23.99%  24.50%  25.44%

The first three locations are Republican locations, starting with Kingwood. If you’re wondering where the other Republican early voting locations are, remember that most of those districts (HDs 126, 128, 130, and 132) are not in the city of Houston, and as this is (almost entirely) a city-only runoff, there are no EV locations in those places, as they’d have nothing to vote for. The next six are in Black districts; the specific location I picked for HD147 changed across all three elections, from the Palm Center to the Young Library to Wheeler Baptist Church. The last five are other places of interest, put there as sort of a control. You could argue for putting the HD138 location in with the Republican districts, but HD138 is fairly swingy and Trini Mendenhall is in a diverse area. It’s the call I made, argue with me as you see fit. Moody Park was in HD148 before the 2021 redistricting, and it is in HD145 now. Oh, and “Pct” is just the share of those votes of the EV total.

For what it’s worth, Mayor Turner needed a very high Black turnout to eke out a win over Bill King in 2015. He got less of that turnout, at least in early voting, in 2019, but had no trouble squashing Tony Buzbee. EV turnout in 2023 is more Republican and less Black than in 2015, but about the same on each (in percentage terms) as in 2019. What does that tell us for 2023? Hell if I know. My point here was to illustrate that there’s more data to look at than just Kingwood and Kashmere (to be fair, Nancy Sims did say that was just one example), and that in comparison to previous years, I’m not sure what conclusion if any I would draw. Feel free to draw your own.

And now, here are those final EV numbers, for your viewing pleasure.

Year    Mail     Early    Total
2015   27,153   86,233  113,386
2019   18,935   96,269  115,204
2023   11,732  120,155  131,887

Previously posted totals are here, the final daily EV report from 2015 is here, the final daily EV report from 2019 is here, and the final daily EV report for 2023 is here. I’ll be back tomorrow to discuss the historic trend in runoff early voting. As always, let me know what you think.

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5 Responses to 2023 final runoff Early Voting totals

  1. Manny says:

    I have voters by council districts, early, and mail.

    If you email me, I will send it to you.

  2. Pingback: The recent history of runoff early voting | Off the Kuff

  3. David Fagan says:

    Don’t forget HFD supported Turner in 2015, an incumbent doesn’t need as much support, but would the same support help have helped SJL?

  4. D.R. says:

    Mayor Whitmire 55-45
    Controller Hollins 52-48
    At large 1: Miles 50-50 (recount territory)
    At large 2: Davis 53-47
    At large 3: Carter 55-45
    At large 4: Plummer 56-44

  5. Pingback: Today is Runoff Day 2023 | Off the Kuff

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