I want to salute what I hope is happening in real time all across Texas.
Reports are pouring in that early-voting totals are smashing records in large counties and small counties. Harris County’s early-vote totals are more than three times than what they were in 2014, the year of the previous midterm election. Dallas County’s early-vote count is shattering records, too. I haven’t heard what’s happening in Collin County, where I live — but I’ll presume that my neighbors are turning out, too.
Regardless of the outcome of the midterm election, this is a good sign for the state if the early voting results portend a huge spike in the actual total turnout.
I’m going to wait until Election Day to cast my ballot. So this isn’t about me. It’s about so many other Texans who seem intent on reversing the state’s dubious distinction of producing time and again one of the country’s worst vote-turnout totals.
Texans like to boast about the bigness of everything here. Yep, the state is huge. It covers roughly 268,000 square miles. It’s more than 800 miles from Orange to El Paso, and from Dalhart to McAllen. The state is home to about 27 million residents. Its economy is rated among the top 15 national economies in the world.
If only the state could produce large voter turnout totals that merit such boastfulness. It’s usually pitiful. This year’s midterm election? Maybe not.
I have hope that the turnout will be large and that the early turnout totals aren’t a sign of just more Texans voting early, leaving Election Day voting to the scant remainder of the rest of the voting public.
It’s the idealist in me.