Number Crunchin’

Houston, We Haven’t Voted This Much since George H.W. Bush was on the Ballot

A record setting 1.56 million Harris County residents have voted in this election, making this the highest turnout percentage since 1992.

By Emma Schkloven November 3, 2020

Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins at an Acres Homes voting event on Election Day. 

Image: Daniel Kramer

What a day, ya’ll. As of 3 p.m., approximately 133,000 thousand ballots have been cast in Harris County on Election Day, according to the Harris County Clerk’s Office, bringing the county’s total number of votes to 1.56 million. According to Harris County Clerk's Office spokesperson Elizabeth Lewis, we're seeing about 20,000 voters per hour.


It might seem like a random number to celebrate over (even though it means we’ve cast more ballots this election than there are people living in Trinidad and Tobago), but there’s a method to our number-crunching madness. See, that number means that we’ve officially surpassed 2008’s 63-percent voter turnout rate, giving 2020 the highest-turnout rate since the 1992 election, when the Bayou City’s own George H.W. Bush was on the ballot.

Yeah, yeah, we know H.W. isn't technically from here, but those haters are just jelly cause he chose us. So, stick that in your queso.

Of course, hitting a milestone like this was a bit expected after the record-smashing early voter turnout we saw in the three weeks leading up to Election Day. Since the 2016 election, Harris County has increased its voter roll by a little more 250,000 voters—the equivalent of absorbing all the registered voters in Galveston County and then some. 

As we reported last week, Harris County already blew past the all-time total of voter turnout during the final day of early voter, October 30. But we can still do better; roughly a million Harris County voters haven’t turned out to the polls yet.

So, get on the horn and text your old high school fling, that roommate you haven’t spoken to since college, and the parent of that nose-picker in your child’s kindergarten class.

We have more records to set and only four hours left to do it. And keep up with election updates with us. 

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