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October 30, 2004

Early Voting Over

By Karl-Thomas Musselman

The Early Vote is cast in Texas and the results from Travis County are in.

On Friday, an astounding 30,987 votes were cast bringing the total Early Vote draw to 217,428, or 37.17% of 584,949 registered voters.

Early vote has been less than election day voting in Travis County traditionally, so even assuming a 50-50 split, my prediction is that a 70-75% turnout for the Austin area is in the cards. That's huge when you consider that in 2000, Travis county had a turnout of around 51%.

The University of Texas Campus had lines up to 150 at some points this afternoon. There were about 40 in line 15 minues after the polls closed even. There were 1984 votes cast at UT today, the highest daily vote return. All 23 early vote locations in the county cast their early vote record days today.

Here is the full and more or less, final file.

Posted by Karl-Thomas Musselman at October 30, 2004 01:14 AM | TrackBack


Incredible! Thanks Karl-T.

Posted by: Annie at October 30, 2004 12:38 PM

Wow. Not for nothing, but I think the people most motivated to early-vote are the guys angry at Bush... 37.17 %?

Wow. I mean, wow.

You think Travis county's totals are enough to maybe actually turn Texas blue this year?

Posted by: Brian Boyko at October 30, 2004 01:38 PM

I think the numbers for Kerry in Travis County will be humiliating for bush.

OT, but can you guys fix your site so it doesn't crash Safari? I have to launch explorer to read your site, most annoying, so mostly I don't.

Posted by: fourlegsgood at October 30, 2004 05:09 PM

That's something that Byron would likely have to take care of. I don't have access to the site code.

Posted by: Karl-T at October 31, 2004 03:41 AM

Hey Karl-T, I have some questions about the numbers you posted.
Turnout is traditionally defined as people who voted as a percentage of the population in voting age (not registered voters). That 51% was slightly lower than the national turnout that was 54%.
Do you have the numbers of how many people voted as a percentage of those 'registered'?
I do believe that more than 80% of those 'registered' to vote are going to do it, but that doesn't translate into a 70-75% turnout as it is defined.
In any case, I'm also totally sure that the turnout will be considerably higher than the one in 2000. Maybe around 62%?

Posted by: LBJ at October 31, 2004 02:17 PM

The numbers in the files that I have posted, as well as the comparisons to 2000, are turnout of registered voters. It is not turnout of voting age population. In travis county 95% of the voting age pop. is registered according to the local clerk.

Posted by: Karl-T at October 31, 2004 02:47 PM

Thank you. That 95% number is impressive. It tells us that Travis is a highly politicized county, which of course is not a surprise. If 95% are registered, then you can use read those numbers exactly as you did in your original posting - so then, yes, your estimation of turnout around 70% is very realistic then.

Posted by: LBJ at October 31, 2004 03:00 PM

Actually, Lyndon, turnout is measured both ways. The reason for using registrants rather than VAP is that VAP often includes noneligible persons (resident aliens, and those infamous felons) and can give an artificially low reading on turnout relative to eligible . . . I doubt that Travis is 95% VAP registered, but maybe it is 95% citizen VAP registered.

Posted by: Keith at October 31, 2004 05:55 PM

I agree with you Keith. I agree that using VAP artificially gives you a lower turnout because of the reasons you pointed out. I'm not defending the usage of VAP - what I wanted to say is that turnout/VAP is the number that is commonly reported and what most people talk about; why? I don't know.

To summarize, I think that nationally, we are going to see a significant increase in voting. My estimate (I just finished a model right now) is that turnout/VAP could be between 60-63% compared to 54% four years ago. That number represents of course a much higher proportion of the registered voters.

Posted by: LBJ at October 31, 2004 06:11 PM
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