Black and young voters missing from Harris County polls

Saturday, November 5, 2022
Harris County early voter turnout seeing less Black and young at polls than previous years
The youth and African Americans who appear to be skipping this election, are voters that political science professor says typically swing democrat.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Early voting turnout statewide and in southeast Texas is down compared to the same time during early voting for the 2018 midterm election.

Numbers from the Texas State Secretary's Office show early voter turnout for Harris, Montgomery, and Galveston counties all down by 7%. Brazoria County turnout is down by 9%, and in Fort Bend County, it's 10%.

"Overall, we're not going to see the high level of midterm turnout that we saw in 2018, and that's good news for Republicans and bad news for Democrats," Rice University Political Science Professor Mark Jones said.

And in Harris County, home to the state's largest number of registered voters, he says it's the youth and African Americans who appear to be skipping this election. They are voters who swing Democrat typically.

"Especially here in Harris County where African American turnout is down about 25%," Jones said.

And young voter participation ages 18 to 35, he says, is down by a whopping 35%.

"You don't have Donald Trump to mobilize them to turn out against and the Biden administration isn't giving them much to vote for," Jones said.

He says the two biggest concerns for voters appear to be inflation and crime.

"And those are two issues that are great for Republicans and really bad for Democrats," Jones said.

He anticipates a Republican sweep for state-wide offices if the younger generation and African Americans stay home.

There is still time for every registered voter to cast a ballot.

Polls will reopen at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

For more information on voting in Texas, visit the Vote Texas website.

For more on this story, follow Shelley Childers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Harris County voters spending more time casting ballot at new voting machines

Prepare to spend extra time at the polls. Harris County has the longest ballot in the country, the administrator's office says.