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 [email protected]


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