Texas Leads the Nation in Early Voting Turnout
There's a lot of uncertainty ahead of election day, but one thing's for sure: more Texans have cast early votes than any other state.
That's according to a report from Texas Monthly's Dan Solomon. He writes that as of Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 20), 4,706,398 Texans had cast their ballots in the first seven days of early voting. To put that in perspective, that number represents almost a quarter of the Lone Star State's registered voters, and nearly half the number of voters in 2016's election.
If Facebook hasn't scared you away with all the usual election year negativity and arguing, you've probably seen reports and posts about long lines at early voting locations. I know I've driven by a couple of lengthy queues myself.
As great as it is to see people enthusiastic about voting, it's not an election year without controversy. As Business Insider reports, there's still a legal battle going on over Governor Greg Abbott's order that each Texas county have only one ballot drop box. Although the order was recently overridden by a judge, many counties, including Harris County (Houston), are enforcing Gov. Abbott's order. Of course, there's also continued controversy over mail-in voting not only in Texas, but across the nation.
It's possible the surge in early voting is attributable to enthusiasm for incumbent President Donald Trump, or it could be due to galvanized opposition to him. Either way, I'm hoping that whatever the outcome of the election may be, it's clear. There's already palpable tension and hatred flaring on both sides, and I've never been more worried about whether or not there can be a peaceful acceptance of an incumbent's victory or transfer of power to a newly elected president.
At this point, I'm just hoping people can remember that there are things that can and should unite us, and it'll take working together and respecting each other to keep this nation going strong.