Travis County breaking voting records; clerk expects turnout to climb as high as 80%

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir speaks to reporters Oct. 28 at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir speaks to reporters Oct. 28 at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir speaks to reporters Oct. 28 at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

With more than two days of early voting remaining, the number of Travis County voters who cast their ballot early in 2020 has surpassed the total number of voters from the presidential election in 2016. Before the end of the night Oct. 28, that total number is set to surpass the record set in 2018.

As of 12:10 p.m., the Travis County Clerk's office reported 486,206 total votes cast in the election, which blows past the 477,588 total mark in 2016 and is just a few hundred votes short of the 486,616 total in 2018.

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said she expects the numbers to continue to climb to record highs through Election Day.

"We believe we’re looking at at least a 77% turnout; about 650,000 people will vote. But at the rate of these numbers, it is also possible we’ll see our turnout go as high as 700,000, an 80% turnout," she said.

DeBeauvoir started her career as Travis County clerk in 1986. A final turnout percentage this year near 80% would approach the highest she has ever seen in her career, she said. According to the Texas Secretary of State's Office website, 78.3% of voters cast their ballots in Travis County in 1992. But at the time, the county's total number of registered voters was 352,737—less than half of what it is today.

Travis County is not the only area of Texas that has already blown through its total voting turnout numbers from 2016. Hays County surpassed its 2016 turnout with five days left in early voting, and Williamson County surpassed its 2016 numbers as of Oct. 22.


More than 1.2 million voters have already cast their ballots in the largest county in Texas, Harris County, which is approaching its 2016 total of 1.39 million votes. All polling locations in Harris County are now open until 10 p.m.


Travis County also extended its voting hours for the last three days of early voting through Oct. 30. Five polling stations the county calls "megacenters" are open an extra two hours, so voters in line by 9 p.m. will be able to cast their ballots.

Those five locations are: Ben Hur Shrine Temple in North Austin, the Austin Central Library downtown, the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin, Southpark Meadows in South Austin and the Pflugerville ISD Rock Gym in Pflugerville.
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


MOST RECENT

Q2 Stadium in North Austin
U.S. women’s national soccer team to debut Q2 Stadium next month

The USWNT takes on the Nigerian national team at Q2 Stadium ahead of the summer Olympic Games.

Juneau was adopted at Austin Animal Center in November 2019. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Animal Center reaches critical capacity, opens doors to all adopters for first time since May 2020

Austin and Travis County’s animal shelter, Austin Animal Center, reached negative kennel space May 4, meaning there are more dogs than available kennels, according to a release from the city of Austin.

Residential appraisal valuations have been sent to Travis County property owners. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis Central Appraisal Districts says hot housing market is reflected in 2021 appraisals

Property owners have until May 17 to file a protest of their home's appraisal.

Photo of the exterior of La Barbecue
La Barbecue opens new space, plus six more new Austin restaurants

Downtown Italian and Greek eateries are among those joining the Austin restaurant scene this spring.

The Austin City Council is set to meet May 6 to go over a 70-item agenda. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Votes on revamped APD cadet academy, possible shift in homeless strategy on tap May 6

Council may look to the possibility of establishing designated campgrounds for the Austin's homeless this spring, with a citywide public camping ban set to go into effect May 11.

Austin City Council will vote on whether to reboot the police department's training academy May 6. (Courtesy Austin Police Department)
Benchmarks for 'reimagined' APD cadet academy on track ahead of City Council commencement vote

Training of the Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class could get underway next month following an overhaul of the academy's instructional process and curriculum.

Ryan Companies will be building 350 homes near the Mueller control tower. (Rendering courtesy Lake Flato Architects)
Coming soon to Austin: Vaquero Taquero adding a downtown location, Komé opening at the airport, Mueller to add 350 homes and more

A new ice cream shop is also opening in East Austin and an apartment project is being built near House Park.

Photo of a gloved hand holding a vaccine vial with the words "vaccine news" superimposed
Austin-area health officials prep for vaccines to open to kids 12 and up

Austin-Travis County interim Health Authority Mark Escott said he expects the FDA to authorize Pfizer's vaccine for kids 12 and up within a week.

New penalties for camping and several other activities will be enforced after the May 1 election is certified and Proposition B's homeless ordinances are in effect. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
With Proposition B's passage, Austin City Council looks to solidify homelessness summit goals, may consider designated campgrounds

The city may look to the concept of temporary designated campsites to house individuals experiencing homelessness after a new camping ban enacted through Proposition B goes into effect.

Photo of hands in purple gloves prepared a vaccine vial
As Travis County receives fewer vaccines this week, state asks for 'one more big push' in distribution

The Texas Department of State Health Services is shifting its distribution model for vaccines moving forward.