Runoff EV wrapup

The final tally is in, and after 13,534 in person votes were cast today, a total of 66,909 have been counted so far. This compares to 80,516 early votes for the November election.

Except it doesn’t, since that total represents all of Harris County. In reality, 62,641 early in person and mail ballots were cast in the Mayor’s race last month. But the total for the runoff is an overstatement as well, since West U Bellaire has a runoff going, too. Going by the Johnston report, a hair over 95% of the ballots through Thursday were actually City of Houston. Assuming that same ratio holds for today, I calculate 63,600 early votes for the municipal races. Which is to say, not much difference.

So the question at this point is whether you believe the ratio of early votes in the runoff will be less than, the same as, or greater than the ratio from the general election. As we know, 35% of all votes in November were cast before Election Day. For the last three municipal elections, this is how the ratios compare:

2003 Nov = 25% early
2003 Dec = 36% early

2005 Nov = 27% early
2005 Dec = 37% early

2007 Nov = 30% early
2007 Dec = 46% early

If this year holds to pattern, something like 45% of the vote has already been cast, which pegs us at a total city turnout of about 141,000. I think that’s a little low, but it wouldn’t shock me. If we get the same proportion of Election Day voters this month as we did last month, we’ll have about the same number of total voters. I think that’s less likely, but it wouldn’t shock me, either. I do think it’s unlikely we’ll get much more than that, however.

You may ask, What about 2001, the last time there was an African-American candidate in the runoff? Unfortunately, I can’t tell you. The County Clerk’s elections results page has the November election result, which shows that a mere 20% of the vote was cast early, but for reasons unclear the December result is unavailable there. I’ve put in an inquiry, since the Houston City Secretary’s page only has the final number, without the early/election day breakdown; I’ll post something when and if I get the data. I suppose it’s possible that there could be a surge in African-American voters on Saturday as there was eight years ago to keep Lee Brown in office. I don’t see any evidence of it in the early voting numbers, but it could happen.

Anyway, that’s what the numbers suggest to me. What do you think the final tally will be?

UPDATE: Bellaire, not West U, has a runoff going. My apologies for the confusion, and my thanks to Corbett Parker, who is actually running in one of those Bellaire runoffs, for the correction.

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One Response to Runoff EV wrapup

  1. Pingback: One last look at the early voting numbers – Off the Kuff

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