Good News and Bad News about Early Voting for Flood Bond

Early voting for the Harris County Flood Bond ended Tuesday. Final voting is this Saturday, August 25th, the anniversary of Harvey.

First, the good news. Exit polling showed voters in the Lake Houston Area generally favored the bond. The other good news was that Kingwood had the highest number of voters anywhere in the county – 4133 or almost 8 percent of the total of early votes (excluding mail in votes).

County-wide, there were:

  • 52,604 early votes cast in person
  • 40,087 early votes by mail
  • 92,691 total early votes

The County Clerk does not provide a breakdown of early votes by area of the county. Breakdowns are only available for in-person voting.

Number of Lake Houston Area votes cast in person and as percent of in-person early votes:
  • Kingwood     4,133          7.9%
  • Atascocita        598          1.1%
  • Humble            980          1.9%
  • Crosby              406           .7%
  • Total                6,117       11.6%

Huffman had no early voting locations. Atascocita or Crosby would have been the closest voting locations for Huffman voters..

Now for the Bad News

For the most important election in recent memory, the turnout is miserable so far. Here are some statistics that put it in perspective.

  • Registered voters in Harris County as of 2016 = 2.235 million
  • % of voters (in person and by mail) who voted early for flood bond = 4.1%
  • Average % that early vote in non-presidential elections = 25%

We early voted at one sixth the normal turnout. But it gets even worse.

Let’s look at the number of early voters compared to the number who suffered flood damage. And let’s assume 1.5 voters per household since approximately half of all adults are married.

Lake Houston Area Structures:
  • Structures flooded in Humble, Atascocita, Huffman and Kingwood = 7,064.
  • Voters flooded in Lake Houston area = 10,596
  • Early in-person voters Lake Houston area = 5,711
  • Only about 54% of those who flooded in the Lake Houston Area bothered to vote so far.
County-Wide Structures:
  • Total structures flooded in Harris County = 154,170
  • Voters flooded in Harris County = 231,255
  • 225,000 voters flooded
  • 90,000 early voters
  • Only 40% of the people who flooded in the entire county bothered to vote so far.
Vehicles County-Wide:
  • Vehicles flooded in Harris County = 300,000
  • 90,000 early voters (in person and by mail)
  • Only 30% of all the people who lost vehicles bothered to vote so far.
FEMA claims County-Wide:
  • 47,000+ Flood Insurance Claims ($2.9B)
  • 15,800+ Small Business Loans ($1.2B)
  • 177,600 Individual Assistance approvals ($4.8B)
  • Total = 240,400 people damaged
  • 90,000 early voters
  • Only 37% of those filing FEMA claims bothered to vote so far.

I once read in a very good book…

I once read in a very good book somewhere that the creator helps those who help themselves.

This turnout is inexcusable.

Ten percent of the homes in the county flooded, but only 4% have bothered to vote so far!

Your Last Chance to Vote: This Saturday

Your last chance to vote is this Saturday, August 25th, at your regular polling place. To find your polling place, follow this link. Please vote. Get all your friends to vote. Get your relatives to vote. And drag your neighbors to the polls, too.

And please vote FOR the flood bond. Here’s a good list of all the reasons why you should.

Even if you didn’t flood, there are many reasons you should vote for the flood bond:

  • 68% of all those who flooded were outside of the 100-year flood plain. You could be next if we don’t improve drainage systems.
  • Many people are unwilling to fully rehab their homes because of fear of future flooding. Just one of those homes in your neighborhood can bring down home values for everyone.
  • Reductions in home values could result in increases in property tax rates as governments struggle to maintain a constant level of revenue.
  • Experience shows that homes near flood zones are less marketable.
  • Retailers will be less willing to invest in areas that have flooded before if they see no hope for future improvement.
  • PTFD

So please vote FOR the flood bond this Saturday. Mark your calendar now.

Post August 22, 2018 by Bob Rehak

358 Days since Hurricane Harvey