The Day 9 totals came in too late for me to post them yesterday, but the Day 10 reports came in early, so let’s skip ahead to those:
Year Early Mail Total Mailed ======================================= 2015 107,086 26,608 133,594 43,280 2013 61,391 19,350 80,741 30,572
The running 2015 totals are here, the full 2013 totals are here, and for completeness the full 2009 totals are here. As of Tuesday, the early in person total for 2015 had already exceeded the early in person total for all of 2013. It’s still not clear to me how much of this is behavior shifting and how much is a genuine increase in turnout. Don’t get me wrong, I do expect and have expected all along that turnout would be up, I’m just saying there’s little to indicate this is anything historic. The numbers that get tossed around in stories range from 180,000 to 230,000, and that all sounds about right to me.
The other piece of data I’ve seen so far suggests that the age range for voters is more or less in line with what we have seen in recent elections. Young voters are at their usually low levels, while the over 65 crowd is up a bit, but that could be partially reflective of the increase in absentee ballots. One thing I was curious about was if there’s been any indication of a higher level of Houston voting, as remember that all these numbers you see are for all of Harris County. In 2013, Houston voters were 67.0% of the Harris County total; in 2011 it was 73.6%; and in 2009 it was 69.5%. It wouldn’t be crazy to think that the Houston share of the vote would be higher this year, between the open Mayor’s race and the HERO referendum. I don’t have the daily rosters, but one way to approximate this is to look at the relative shares of the Houston and non-Houston early voting locations. Basically, HDs 126, 128, 130, 132, 135, 144, and 150 are wholly or mostly outside city limits, so the share of the vote in those locations is a (very) rough approximation of the city and non-city share of the overall vote so far. How does the 9 day total for 2015 compare to 2013 in that regard?
Year Votes Harris Houston Hou % ====================================== 2015 89,599 18,795 70,804 79.0% 2013 87,944 17,076 70,868 80.6%
The Houston share by this method is higher than the actual amount because you can vote anywhere during early voting. My guess is that if you vote in one of those outer locations, you’re probably from there, but voting in the city doesn’t mean you’re from the city – if you work in, say, downtown or the Medical Center, there are convenient EV locations for you. The one thing I would conclude from this is that there’s no clear evidence from this that the Houston share of the vote is higher than usual. I’m sure Greg or someone else with access to the rosters can confirm or deny this, but that’s what it looks like to me.