Hays County voters have already cast 1,183 more ballots than the county's total for the entirety of the 2016 presidential election with five days left in early voting, according to Hays County's election data.
In the current election, there have been 64,177 in-person votes and 10,595 absentee—or mail-in—ballots cast through Oct. 25 for 74,772 total votes. The entire 2016 election saw 73,588 votes.
National polls have taken notice of the turnout, as evidenced by NBC pollster David Wasserman, who also suggested in a tweet that Hays County was the most likely Texas county to flip from Republican President Donald Trump in the 2016 election to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden this year. However, Community Impact Newspaper was not able to verify claims about which way the county may swing.
Interesting: Hays County, TX just south of Austin is poised to be the first in the U.S. to surpass its 2016 total votes cast. So far, 65,819 voters have cast ballots, vs. 72,164 in all of '16.
It's also the likeliest county in TX to flip from Trump '16 to Biden '20.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) October 23, 2020
To put this year's turnout in perspective, more absentee ballots were returned before early voting began Oct. 13 this year—4,928—than were returned for the 2016 election—4,586. Cumulative in-person early voting in the 2016 election—51,835—was surpassed Oct. 22 with 55,299 votes.
However, voter turnout was 63.17% in 2016. This year, 48.97% of all registered voters in Hays County—55.84% for voters with active registrations—have participated in the current election, and voter turnout by day has trended downward since Oct. 16.
There were 116,501 registered voters in the 2016 election compared to 133,905 active voter registrations for this November's election, according to Hays County and the Texas secretary of state. An additional 18,769 voter registrations in Hays County residents were still considered in suspense for the current election Oct. 15.
These voters were still eligible to cast a ballot if they fill out a statement of residency declaring they continue to reside in Hays County. This is required because their voter registration certificates, or other mail, were returned to a county office, according to Hays County.
All together, 152,674 voters registered in Hays County for the current election—a 31.05% increase over November 2016.