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Final early vote total

Early voting ended Friday, with the last day repeating the 2007 pattern of roughly doubling earlier numbers from the week but never taking big jump as was seen in 2005 and 2009. Here’s the final daily EV report from the county, plus the 2009 spreadsheet, the 2007 daily EV report, and the Erik Vidor spreadsheet, and the final comparison chart:

Type 2005 2007 2009 2011 ===================================== In Person 72,370 43,420 71,368 49,669 Absentee 6,215 6,844 9,148 8,676 Total 78,585 50,264 80,516 58,345 09 Pct 97.6% 62.4% 100% 72.5%

Note that my projection of the 2011 EV total was high by about 5,000 votes, which is a direct consequence of following the 2007 pattern instead of acting a bit more like either 2005 or 2009. If the final total for 2011 is 72.5% of the 2009 total, then we should expect 131,703 votes this year, or about four percent more than 2007. Another way to look at it is to project the final total from the early vote total, based on varying assumptions about what share of the final vote has already been cast. That gives us this:

Year Early Total EV Pct ====================================== 2005 81,007 332,154 24.4% 2007 52,476 193,945 27.1% 2009 82,978 257,312 32.1% 2011 60,000 244,898 24.4% 2011 60,000 221,402 27.1% 2011 60,000 186,916 32.1% 2011 60,000 170,940 35.1% 2011 60,000 157,480 38.1%

Remember, the higher EV total is to reflect late-arriving absentee ballots. I added a fifth scenario to accommodate the possibility that we’re seeing an even-numbered year level of EV turnout. Factoring out the non-Houston votes – remember, the Houston share of the Harris County total is historically between 63 and 69 percent – gives a range of 171,429 on the high end (70 percent Houston share of the high end final vote projection) and 94,488 on the low end (60% of the low end projection). Throw in Fort Bend and Montgomery and we round up to a range of 96,000 to 173,000. I continue to believe that we’re seeing a 2007-style year, so I’ll stick with the 131,703 number I derived originally. Obviously, there are plenty of other ways to view the data, and we won’t know till Tuesday. Place your own guess in the comments, and we’ll see who comes the closest.

UPDATE: Here’s Kyle Johnston’s analysis of the final early vote total. Two points of interest: A total of 40,495 votes were City of Houston, which is 69.4% of the overall number. Only 67% of the votes were cast by those who had voted in at least two of the last three city elections, which is considerably less than the total after the first two days. Fifteen percent of the vote came from people who had not voted in any of the last three city elections. I’m not sure what if anything that means, but it’s a bigger number than I would have expected.

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  1. Mainstream says:

    Dave Wilson for Mayor’s campaign sent out an appeal linked to this low turnout and claiming a conspiracy theory by the Chronicle with the Parker campaign:

    “Parker and the media have intentionally acted to keep voting low. The Houston Chronicle has bent over backwards to help Parker. When in the history of the Houston Chronicle has a Voter’s Guide not been published?

    Houston is the largest city in Texas, 4th in the nation, and the only major newspaper in town does not print a Voter’s Guide…why?…strategy; the less attention given to the elections, the lower the turnout. Their strategy is to keep turnout low to help Parker’s re-election. We must not let this happen!”

    My memory is that the Chronicle quit printing voter guides 5 or 6 elections ago, but does anyone have a more concrete memory of when these guides were discontinued? I seem to recall an on-line guide for a few cycles after the written guide was abandoned.

  2. paul kubosh says:

    I don’t know about a conspiracy….but I think the chronicle editorial board has been very up front and clear about their support for parker.

  3. It’s been long enough since the Chron last did those voter’s guides that I don’t remember when they last did them. Honestly, does anyone really believe they had anything to do with turnout? As conspiracy theories go, that’s pretty weak.

  4. Hobby says:

    Dave I-hate-the-Gays Wilson, what a tool. I see Manuel Rodriguez in the HISD race seems to have adopted Dave’s “campaign style.” I hope it is as, ahem, successful for him as it has been (will be) for old man Wilson. Conspiracy on the low turn out? No, it is a lack of interest in the race. Poor Dave Wilson is just getting his tin foil hat all steamed up for nothing.

  5. Greg Wythe says:

    It is kinda funny that the same media outlet that Wilson and other rightwingers think bends over backward to help candidates they don’t like would somehow be doing them a favor by writing even more on the race.

  6. Dana says:

    Given that votes are differentiated by the voting centers, can a general assumption be made about how many votes will come in for each district? I imagine if 10,000 of the 60,000 votes were from voting centers in district C, we would generally be able to deduce what it takes to win C…?

  7. Mainstream says:


    Kyle Johnston’s analysis shows precisely 6, 221 voters in District C voted early. Rather than looking at the early voting site at which each voter cast his ballot, Johnston has apparently looked at the home precincts of the early voters.

  8. […] registered voters as it did in 2009, 14% turnout would be 130,910 ballots cast, or almost exactly what I’ve projected for this year’s total. New Braunfels did that in early voting alone – you have to […]

  9. […] share of 73.6%. The final early vote total for Harris County was 60,122, almost exactly what I hypothesized it would be, and the early vote total was 36.6% of the overall tally in Harris. There were 920,172 […]