An analysis of early voting in several major Texas counties shows that Texans are shifting how they vote and does not necessarily exhibit a surge in voting activity. The counties that have so far fully reported early voting are Tarrant, Bexar, Travis, Collin, Hidalgo, Montgomery, Galveston, and Cameron. These counties include several significant areas in Texas, such as Austin, San Antonio, McAllen and the Dallas suburbs.  

The analysis from Chuck DeVore, TPPF’s Vice President of National Initiatives, shows that the uptick in voting this year has been just under 0.1% of the total in 2016. DeVore found: 

  • In 2016, 4.36% of Texans voted early and in-person on the first day of voting, and 1.70% voted by mail for a total of 6.05% of registered voters.  
  • In 2020, 3.70% of Texans voted early and in-person on the first day of voting, and 2.44% by mail for a total of 6.14% of registered voters. 

“While it’s certainly still possible a significant increase in early voting turnout as a percentage of registered voters might occur, there is little evidence right now of a massive surge in early voting, at least with these eight comparative counties,” said DeVore. “Rather, we see a shift in early voting, with voters increasing their use of mail-in ballots, up 44% from 2016 compared to in-person early voting which is down 15% compared to 2016.”