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Monday, October 1, 2018

With Midterms Looming, Texas' Voter Rolls are Growing Faster Than Usual

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 11:01 AM

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Texas has gained 550,000 new voters since last November, or more than five times its recent average annual increase, according to state election records.

Ahead of the November midterms, the number of new registered voters reached a record 15.6 million — up 4 percent from a year ago. Between 2002 and 2014, Texas' voter rolls grew an average of 100,000 annually.

“Recently, we have heard from a number of county election officials who tell us they are witnessing voter registration rates and voter enthusiasm in a midterm year that we usually see before Presidential-year elections, which is phenomenal,” Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos told the Houston Chronicle. “On the whole, we are seeing Texans become more engaged, which is very healthy for the future of our state.”

Voters nationwide are energized since the midterms are considered a referendum on polarizing President Donald Trump. What's more, Texas' Senate race between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O'Rourke has become one of the most-watched in the country.

Bexar County ended last week with 1,091,973 registered voters, a nearly 4 percent increase from a year ago, according to state records.

The three other most-populous counties experienced similar upswings. Voter rolls grew by 2.8 percent in Dallas County, 3.6 percent in Harris and 5.4 percent in Travis over that time.

If Texans actually carry that enthusiasm to the ballot box, the upcoming election could help break a dismal record. Only a third of Lone Star State residents bothered to cast ballots in recent midterms, making it the state with the worst midterm voter turnout.

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