In The Land Of Longhorns, The Long Lines Are Historic. Millions In Texas Voting Early.

Voters line up outside Richardson City Hall for early voting Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Richardson, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

In this important and contentious election season, Americans are taking the “my vote counts” thing very seriously.

With pandemic-related challenges everywhere, voters are completing their ballots early and at a record pace. In Texas, the early votes already have sprinted past the total number of ballots from the 2016 election.

The early voting in Texas does not indicate an advantage for Democrats or Republicans, however, as the Lone Star State does not require its citizenry to include its party upon registration. The GOP has won every statewide race (in Texas?) since 1994, and President Donald Trump won in Texas four years ago by 9 percentage points.

Texas, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia are leading the way in early ballots returned, and the expansive early-voting trend is similar across the country.

The numbers indicate, according to the U.S. Elections Project, “with almost certainty” several states will surpass their 2016 total vote before Election Day. As of this week, the state of Washington, which uses only mail voting, has recorded 2,018,495 mail ballots returned. That’s about three times as many as they recorded at this same number of days prior to the election in 2016.

While Democrats have returned their requested mail-in ballots at double the rate of the GOP, according to states in which the political party is included among those registered to vote, the Republicans traditionally enjoy a much stronger turnout in person on Election Day.

Back in Texas, a USA Today story says that, according to the Texas Secretary of State office, “8,969,226 out of 15,101,087 registered voters cast ballots in the entire 2016 general election. The official vote count in Texas through Thursday is already at 9,009,850.”

Harris County election worker Romanique Tillman prepares mail-in ballots to be sent out to voters Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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