What a difference a competitive election makes: Early Voting Turnout in TX

I regularly get requests from state legislators, election administrators, and journalists to comment on the impact of early and other convenience voting systems on turnout. My position on this is well-known–these reforms have small but significant impacts on turnout. They will not fix turnout problems in the United States.

To do that, we need to make citizens feel excited, empowered, and informed about politics.

A nice illustration of the point is happening in front of us, in Texas (see below). With eight days to go, turnout in the competitive Democratic contest has well-exceeded the turnout in the 2004 contest. On the Republican side, turnout is less than 50% of 2004 turnout, and the pace of turnout is flattening. (Updates to this page will appear daily until early voting closes.)