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Unlike Most Years, Turnout During Early Voting In Travis County Didn't Spike The First Day

Voters in line on the first day of early voting in Texas at Southpark Meadows shopping center in South Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Voters in line on the first day of early voting in Texas at Southpark Meadows shopping center in South Austin.

Lee esta historia en español.

In normal times, the first day of early voting is usually the busiest day of in-person voting ahead of Election Day.

But these are not normal times.

According to data from the Travis County Clerk’s office, in-person voting has remained high throughout the entire first week of early voting. And, in fact, the busiest day last week was Friday.

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said she usually advises people who want to avoid long lines to vote later in the week.

“It usually begins to calm down on the second or third day,” she told KUT last week. “And we tell people that. Perhaps everyone decided to skip the first day.”

On the first day of early voting, Travis County data shows 35,873 people voted in-person. On the second day, 38,119 people voted. During the highest turnout day, Friday, 41,265 people voted.

RELATED | In-Person Voting In Travis County Is On Par With 2016. But Votes By Mail Are Surging.

As of Sunday, more than 198,000 people had voted in person. Combined with mail ballots, so far more than a quarter of registered voters in Travis County have cast a ballot in the presidential election.

DeBeauvoir said she’s been surprised by voting trends during this election, which she thinks are being influenced by the pandemic.

And while maybe voting later in the week has become more popular this year, she said voters who want to avoid long lines will probably still be in luck if they vote mid-morning. DeBeauvoir said lines are longest during “drive times,” but tend to slow down after everyone has gone to work and school.

“None of those numbers are very predictable now, though,” she said.

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Ashley Lopez covers politics and health care. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @AshLopezRadio.
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