The Chron covers the heavy early voting so far, and gives us some long-awaited but still estimated numbers on Harris County and statewide registrations.
Early voting began Monday, and more than 63,000 Harris County voters cast early ballots through Wednesday, County Clerk Beverly Kaufman said.
Requests for mail-in ballots are up this year as well, she said: 47,000 people have asked for Harris County ballots, compared with 34,000 in 2000.
Nearly half a million people have cast early votes statewide, Texas Secretary of State Geoffrey Connor said during a visit to Houston.
Voter registration also increased, he said. While tallies are not complete, roughly 13 million people are registered to vote in Texas, compared with 12.4 million who were registered in 2000, he said.
“We’ve had a surge in registration. I hope that translates into a surge in voting,” Connor said. “Registering voters has always been easier than getting people to the polls.”
In Harris County, a record 1.9 million are registered to vote, reported Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt, the county’s voter registrar.
One point nine million in Harris County is a record, though not by that much if I remember the slides shown at Deputy Voter Registrar training. I can’t seem to find any historical voter reg totals for Harris County, so I’m murky on how this compares to 2002 and 2000. We’ve heard the 13 million number before, but it’s still an estimate.
Ah, we now seem to have voter reg totals for the top-15 counties. 1,937,072 is Harris County’s number. One hundred forty-two thousand people in the Top 15 voted yesterday, which is actually a slight decline from the first three days, when the average was a tad over 148,000. Still, it’s pretty consistent so far.
Harris County actually has the lowest early voting total as a percentage of total voters by far. It’s still crowded at the early voting locations, accoding to KHOU. Maybe we need more of them, though there really are quite a few.
Elsewhere, Colorado Luis reports on the early voting rush in his state, while this Kos diarist experienced a strange problem a neighbor experienced with a Hart Intercivic voting machine. I’ve not heard of anything like that on the eSlate machines here, and we’ve had them for some time now. Still, check everything before you press that last button. You never know.
UPDATE: Via Sarah, a reassuring note from Austin for Change regarding what happened there. They say the same thing I do – check your ballot before you hit the last button. Printouts or not, that’s a necessary step.