AUSTIN (KXAN) — Travis County election officials are preparing for the possibility of a bigger-than-usual turnout for the upcoming election in November.
Turnout is typically low for elections that don’t feature any presidential or statewide races. But some trends suggest this year may be different.
First, there are more people registered to vote in Travis County than ever before. Voter rolls recently topped 800,000, according to the county tax office.
Registered voters in Travis County
- Current – 805K
- 2018 – 774K
- 2016 – 725K
- 2014 – 655K
- 2012 – 632K
Source: Texas Secretary of State / Travis County Clerk’s Office
The numbers above are part of a larger trend. The number of registered voters in Travis County has increased every year since 1990, according to the Texas Secretary of State.
More and motivated
The increase in registered voters is only one half of the story. Voters seem to also be more motivated.
Presidential elections typically get the highest voter turnout, but that was not the case last year in Travis County.
Recent Travis County turnout
- 2016 Presidential election : 462K (63.8%)
- 2018 Midterm election: 486K (68%)
Source: Texas Secretary of State
“We’re thinking there is pent up demand to vote,” said Dana DeBeauvoir, Travis County clerk. “People want to vote and they’re probably going to come out to vote anyway.”
DeBeauvoir is encouraging people to cast their ballots during the early voting period to avoid long lines on election day. She also recommends using the tax office’s line tracker to find the polling places with the shortest lines.