Texas has set a new voter registration record of 15.6 million people, spurred in large part by the highly anticipated Senate race between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos told the Houston Chronicle that the state’s voter rolls have grown by 1.6 million since the 2014 midterm election.
Since March, Texas has seen a 400,000-voter increase according to election records. The state on average added a little over 100,000 voters a year between 2002 and 2014.
“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,” Pablos said. “On the whole, we are seeing Texans become more engaged, which is very healthy for the future of our state.”
Just in Harris County alone, 55,000 voters registered over the last six months. Suburban counties near Houston have seen large voter growth with rolls in Fort Bend and Montgomery counties growing by three percent.
By comparison, only 4.7 million of the 14 million registered voters in 2014 took to the polls. As expected, voter turnout is usually much higher in presidential elections with 60 percent of registered voters participating in the 2012 and 2016 elections.
Voters can register through Oct. 9, which is the deadline to vote in the midterms. If you’re not registered to vote, you can pick up an application at your Voter Registrar’s Office. According to Vote Texas, oftentimes the registrar’s office will be the Tax Assessor-Collector. In some counties, the county clerk and elections administrator provide registration forms. Click here to find a county voter registration official near you. You must be 17 years and 10 months of age on the day you apply, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the county where they’re submitting their application.
To find out if you are already registered, click here.