If day one is any indication, this year's election could set a turnout record in Harris County. "As President Trump would say it, 'huge' with a y," says Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart. "We had 63,188 who showed up...the only time we've ever exceeded this number (on day one) was in the 2016 Presidential election, where we had another 4,000."
Stanart tells KTRH that the 2016 total included longer voting hours, as well. "We actually are going at a pace hotter than the Presidential election of 2016," he says.
Whether or not this pace will continue remains to be seen. After all, day one of early voting coincided with President Trump's massive rally with Sen. Ted Cruz in downtown Houston, which drew tens of thousands of people. Nevertheless, voter registration in Texas has increased sharply this year, suggesting Monday's totals aren't just a one-day anomaly.
Regardless of whether this year surpasses 2016, it's definitely on pace to set a new record for a midterm election in Harris County. "Four years ago (in the last midterm) we had 20,200 the first day, and we're three times that amount now," says Stanart. "That's just off the charts."
Early voting continues at 46 sites across Harris County daily through November 2nd. To cut down on long lines, Stanart recommends coming to the ballot box prepared. "Go to HarrisVotes.com, print out your personal sample ballot and mark it up, then when you get in the voting booth you can quickly make your selections," he says. "If everybody would do that, we would move those lines faster."