To say the least, that’s pretty darned high turnout.
Fifty-nine percent of the registered voters in Texas are expected to cast ballots in the Nov. 2 election, Secretary of State Geoff Connor said today.
Connor’s voter turnout estimate comes from studying early voting trends and looking at the state’s voting age population, he said. Early voting ends Friday.
Although large numbers of voters are showing up in some counties to vote early, it may be that more Texans are taking advantage of early voting, Connor said, adding that it may not translate into an overall boost in turnout for the election.
“I do hope that we have greater participation,” Connor said. He said turnout could be helped by interest in the presidential race and hotly contested local and congressional races and a surge in patriotism since the 2001 terror attacks.
Over the last several elections, there hasn’t been much change in the percentage of adults who turn out to vote, he said.
About 13.1 million Texans are registered to vote this year, a record number. But as a percentage of the voting-age population, it represents a decline in registration to 82 percent, down from 85 percent in 2000.
In the 2000 presidential race, when then-Gov. George W. Bush of Texas first ran for president, voter turnout for the state was 52 percent. At that time, there were 12.4 million registered voters in Texas.
Not sure if the slight decline in registered voters as a percentage of VAP is attributable to a greater proportion of non-citizens, or just an insufficient outreach effort. It’s still the second-best percentage ever, though, or close to it – it was 81.90% in 1998.