Ask the editor: How many people vote in Harris County?

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Voter turnout in Harris County has dropped in the last 30 years, but presidential and midterm election turnouts still dwarf those during years in which no major national elections take place in November.

In 1988, a presidential election year, 64.57 percent of Harris County voters came out to vote that November, according to the Texas Secretary of State website. The number rose to 71.68 percent in 1992.

Since then, the number has steadily plummeted, despite a growing population. Only 58.37 percent of those registered to vote in Harris County participated in November 2016, a presidential election year.

Elections that are not in presidential and midterm election years draw few voters, according to the Harris County clerk’s office. For example, in November 2017, only about 7 percent of county voters cast a ballot.

However, when there is a major ballot issue, such as the propositions on the Harris County ballot in November 2015—which included $848 million in bond proposals—that number reached 20 percent, according to the county clerk’s office.

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  1. The article is interesting, but I was hoping it would answer the question in the headline. How many people usually vote in Harris County? Better yet, how many in a midterm election year, such as 2014 or 2010?
    100,000? 400,000?

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Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of the paper in March 2017.
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