Early voting: 67% of mail-in ballots in for Travis County


TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Election Day is one week away and early voting numbers across Central Texas are surpassing previous totals.

In Travis County, 52% of the county’s registered voters have cast their ballots. Four years ago, only 49% cast their ballots before election day. Williamson County is reporting 57%, six percentage points higher than the total early voting turnout in 2016.

At present, Bastrop County is reporting 46%, close to the county’s 47% of early voting four years ago. In Hays County, 49 percent of registered voters have made their choice, according to the Secretary of State’s data. Four years ago, 45% of voters made their choice before Election Day.

A big part of voting this election consists of mail-in ballots due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said her office has sent 83,400 mail-in ballots out and have received 67% through postal delivery and hand-delivery. DeBeauvoir credits voters for acting fast and getting ballots in early. She believes the swift response will help with the Election Day tabulation.

“I don’t think Travis County will be one of those places that have big delays or big problems,” DeBeauvoir said. “It is very likely we will sustainably be done by midnight.”

DeBeauvoir said the process of counting mail-in ballots can take some time as there are several steps officials must conduct in order to count the vote.

“We go through different steps with auditing and signatures, the intent of the voter, all of that, I think each step takes about 20 to 30 minutes,” DeBeauvoir explained.

Because of this, DeBeauvoir said she’s hired about an additional 100 people to help out with this process and keep it moving now and into election night.

DeBeauvoir also believes this election could break the county’s highest voter turnout record of 77% which was achieved during the 2008 election. She estimates the county could reach 80% turnout.

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