The final day totals of early voting are in, and 216,541 have already cast their vote in Denton County. Only 145,032 ballots were cast in the entirety of the 2014 midterms. The early voting totals in this year’s midterm are only about 10,000 fewer than were cast early for president in 2016.
Denton County isn’t an outlier. According to the New York Times, Texas is one of 22 states whose early voting totals have already exceeded the entirety of the 2014 election totals. There are several potential reasons for the massive increase in many states’ turnouts, but Texas specifically is host to the Senate race between incumbent Ted Cruz and his challenger, current U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (D- El Paso), which is arguably the most prominent race in the country this midterm.
Trying to extrapolate what the final turnout will be based on that number isn’t easy. Looking at the biggest race of the 2014 midterms in Texas, the race for John Cornyn’s U.S. Senate seat — which the two-term incumbent won in a landslide — it looks like a little more than 52 percent of the ballots in 2014 were cast early. That would translate into a voter turnout of around 430,000 in Denton County for this election.
Voter turnout in midterm elections is traditionally lower than presidential elections, and midterms are usually compared to each other, but voter turnout is so large in this case that the 2016 election is relevant context. That election saw 302,835 total ballots cast — though only 298,645 were cast for president, in an election between two of the least popular candidates in the country’s history. Of those votes, 226,490, or a little more than 75 percent, were cast early. This would translate into a total 2018 turnout of almost 290,000.
It would take 86,294 votes on election day to match the 2016 total. The highest single-day total for early voting was the last day, Nov. 2, which saw 24,669 voters take to the polls — this represented a massive spike and more than 11 percent of the county’s early voting total.
This spike isn’t completely accounted for, but may have been helped by O’Rourke’s appearance in Lewisville that morning. Cruz will be speaking 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Marty B’s in the nearby Bartonville tomorrow, Nov. 4.
The Lewisville Municipal Annex, the only voting location within Lewisville city limits, was the third most popular location out of the 22 early voting locations in Denton County, processing 17,444, or 8 percent, of those early ballots, behind only the Carrollton Public Library and Flower Mound Municipal Court. County residents are free to vote at any polling location during early voting, though they must go to their personal precincts to vote on election day.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. Polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., but unlike early voting, voters may only vote at their own specific precinct. To find out where you specifically can vote and who will be on your personal ballot, look yourself up on votedenton.com/voter-lookup.