TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Early voting has begun across Texas, and the early numbers are encouraging – somewhat.
First, Texas now has close to 17 million registered voters. That is an increase of 1.2 million over the 2018 mid-term election. Now, that is a lot of people but with all the hype about registering to vote, the continual displays and messaging by celebrities and elected officials along with the social media pronouncements about the importance of voting, it is only a little more than a 7% increase in registrations since the mid-terms. And some of that growth came as a result or organic population growth that would have been there regardless of registration appeals.
Now, I am not diminishing the importance of registering and then actually voting but a lot of people choose not to vote in Texas. Historically, less than 60 percent of registered voters turn out. It has been almost 30 years since we broke the 60 percent mark. And with all the media hype and legal wrangling surrounding mail-in ballots, only about three to four percent of early voters are using the mail-in option.
Again, every vote counts, but the ultimate decider in the election will be how effectively each party gets their respective registered voters out, in-person, between now and election day. And then, wouldn’t it be nice if social media platforms made you prove you voted before you could comment of the outcome of the election? Just a thought!
Get to the polls East Texas and make your voice heard – it matters - and that will make for a Better East Texas.