What Tuesday's election results mean for November election

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, voters showed up in record numbers to cast their ballots in the primary runoff election on Tuesday.

More than 224,000 people voted in this week's election in Harris County, compared to more than 108,000 in 2018 and 69,000 in 2016.

"I think statewide in Texas, Democrats actually set a record for their runoff turnout," political analyst Keir Murray said. "Republicans had a solid turnout as well."

Casting ballots looked different this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Voters had to socially distance, wear masks, everything was sanitized and they were given tools so they did not have to touch the voting machines. Still, numbers nearly doubled.

"The county clerk sent every voter here in Harris County who is 65 years and older a mail-in ballot application for which they are eligible," Murray said. "A surprising number of them took advantage of that opportunity, so that had a lot to do with the high turnout. We did see healthy participation in person."

As far as what this means for the November election, Murray anticipates heavy participation.

He suggested as many as 10 million people statewide, including 1.5 million in Harris County, may cast ballots in the presidential election.

The Harris County Democratic Party said they feel encouraged by the turnout and believes that shows how energized voters are.

"For us, we don't have to convince people to come out and vote," DJ Ybarra, executive director for the party, said. "We just have to tell them when and where and that's going to be huge for us in November."

The Harris County Republican Party issued a statement saying in part, "Republicans have recruited highly talented candidates who have what it takes to keep Texas red in November, and we're more determined than ever to elect conservatives from the White House to the courthouse."

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