Texas registers record 15 million voters for November election

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The University Democrats set up a table at West Mall on Tuesday, Oct. 11 encouraging students walking by to register to vote.
Photo Credit: Angel Ulloa | Daily Texan Staff

Texas Secretary of State Carlos H. Cascos announced Thursday that Texas registered over 15 million voters, accounting for 78 percent of the state’s voting age population.

“If you want to vote you must be registered, so it’s good to see that so many Texans are preparing for this November’s election,” Cascos said in a statement.

The estimated voting age population in Texas is over 19.3 million, according to the secretary of state’s office. However, this includes some groups of people who are ineligible to vote, such as non-citizens and convicted felons.

In 2012, the last presidential election year, 75 percent of the voting age population was registered to vote, and in 2008, 77 percent of the voting age population was registered to vote. The increase to 78 percent amounts to almost two million more registered voters in Texas in 2016 than when President Barack Obama ran against former Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

Travis County also beat a previous record by registering over 90 percent of eligible voters in the county. Bruce Elfant, the county tax assessor and voter registrar, set a 90 percent goal for the county back in January.

While he said he was glad that the county surpassed its goal, Elfant’s focus has turned to voter turnout on election day, especially emphasizing voter participation in local elections.

“The candidates and the propositions on the bottom of the ballot will actually impact our daily lives more than the presidential candidates,” Elfant said. “We care about transportation, we care about all of the amenities, the parks, the pools, the libraries. What community we’re going to live in are decisions made by local government. It’s more important.”

The last day to register to vote was Oct. 11. Early voting will be available to the UT community at the Flawn Academic Center from Oct. 24 to Nov. 4. Election day is Nov. 8.