Tag Archive for: early voting

So Far, Early Voting Turnout Dismal

Early voting turnout this year rates a D for “dismal.” At the close of polls on Wednesday 11/2/22, only 566,006 of the 2.57 million registered voters in Harris County had voted. That’s 22% with just Thursday and Friday left for early voting. By comparison, during the 2018 mid-terms (the last comparable election), 63% of Harris County voters voted early. With two days left in early voting, we can make up some ground, but not that much.

Kingwood Slightly Better than Rest of Harris County

The nightly totals show that the Kingwood Community Center has had the fourth highest turnout in Harris County so far this year.

Yet Kingwood has had only 14,000 residents vote out of the 44,000 registered in 77339 and 77345. That’s 31.8 percent so far, and much better than this year’s county-wide average of 22%. However, Kingwood’s 31.8% is still only half of the county’s 63% early-voting rate in the 2018 mid-terms.

Total 2018 Turnout Doubled Countywide Turnout to Date

During all 13 days of voting in the 2018 mid-terms (early and Election Day), 1,219,871 voted compared to 566,006 so far this year. So, 2018 turnout more than doubled turnout to date in this election.

To equal 2018 turnout, we need as many people to vote in the three days left as have already voted in the last ten!

And don’t think we’ll make it all up on Election Day. In the last mid-term, almost 63% of those who voted voted early.

So far this year, we’re about 250,000 votes short of 2018 early-voting totals. We only have two days of early voting left and the County is averaging a little more than 50,000 votes per day so far. So, even if we get another 100,000 in the last two days, we’ll still be about 150,000 early votes short of 2018.

To put that in perspective, Ed Emmett lost to Lina Hidalgo in 2018 by 20,000 votes county wide. And 30,000 people have yet to vote in Kingwood alone.

And that doesn’t even include Huffman, Spring, Humble, Atascocita, or Crosby.

A Chance to Regain Fairness on Commissioners Court

If you vote in one race in this election, vote for Republican Alexandra Mealer instead of Lina Hidalgo. Mealer offers a chance to get better balance on Commissioners Court and some measure of fairness in flood-mitigation expenditures. Right now, Democrats have a 3-2 majority and consistently vote as a block in favor of their own constituents.

Since Harvey, Harris County has spent $1.6 billion on flood mitigation projects. As of today, Harris County Flood Control District shows $234 million in capital improvement construction projects underway. NOT ONE is in the Lake Houston Area. Of the 20 active projects, 18 have gone to Democrat Commissioners Garcia and Ellis. The two Republican-leaning precincts have one each.

Screen capture from HCFCD.

Yet we had the highest flooding in the county during Harvey.

worst first
Chart showing feet above flood stage of 33 gages of misc. bayous in Harris County during Harvey.

And we’ve been one of the most heavily flood-damaged areas in Harris County dating back more than 40 years.

From MAAPnext.org. Cumulative flood losses since 1979.

Yet under Hidalgo all the money goes elsewhere in the name of “worst first.”

To All Who Flooded – Three More Days Left

Ten days of voting are behind us. Three are left: the rest of today, Friday and next Tuesday.

Get out the vote, folks! Walk your block. Knock on doors. Forward this link to everyone you know. And remember this dismal turnout the next time you flood. This election is the best chance you have to reduce flood risk to your family and property.

The Mealer/Hidalgo County Judge race is buried halfway down the ballot in the middle of judicial races – between family and civil court judges.

While you’re at it, remember the three county bond issues totaling $1.2 billion also on the ballot. And remember that the Dems already voted to distribute this money unequally, favoring Precincts One and Two by a wide margin. But you won’t see that on the ballot language. So much for transparency!

To find your sample ballot and the nearest voting location, go to HarrisVotes.com.

Yes, you will have to wait in line. But while you’re waiting, remember how long you’ve waited for flood mitigation help that has yet to arrive!

Looking east from the south side of the West Fork of the San Jacinto during Harvey

Posted on Bob Rehak on 11/3/22

1892 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

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

Your Best Investment in Your Biggest Investment: Vote FOR the Flood Bond

My wife and I were the first in line for early voting on the Count Flood Bond today. By 8:01, were were voting. By 8:02, the Harris County Flood Bond had surged out to a commanding 2-0 margin in the Kingwood area.

Even if your home didn’t flood, the perception that it might will affect your home’s value.

That’s why the Harris County flood bond is likely to be your best investment in your biggest investment – your home.

We need to show the world that we’re serious about fixing our drainage problems, not just pretending they don’t exist.

After Months of Successful Lobbying, Now is the Time to Vote

After months of successful lobbying, residents of the Lake Houston area managed to get key projects included in the Harris County Flood Bond that will reduce the likelihood and severity of flooding in our area. Now it’s time to seal the deal. Get out and vote FOR the bond.

More than 800 Lake Houston area residents submitted input on the bond. As a result, additional detention, dredging, and gates were added to the project list. They will reduce the input during a flood, increase the throughput, and speed up the output.

We’ve all heard the arguments for and against the bond. We’ve learned what the impact of the bond will be on taxes. Now we just need to approve it.

If approved, the bond will provide vital money that provides the local match for critical projects, such as dredging the west fork mouth bar and the addition of ten new flood gates to the Lake Houston Dam.

Please don’t take anything for granted. Get on the phone. Call all your neighbors, all your relatives, all your friends. Get them to vote for the bond. AND get them to contact all of their neighbors, relatives and friends, too. Especially those who did not flood. 

Lake Houston Area Can Swing This Election

ONE FOURTH of the 3000 people county-wide that showed up at 23 watershed meetings with county officials were from the Lake Houston area. That’s huge, considering that we have only about ONE TWELFTH of the county’s population. Our voting power can swing this referendum one way or the other. Let’s use it. Vote FOR.

Early Voting Dates and Hours

Early voting started August 8, at the Kingwood Community Center and continues through 4:30 today. Here is the complete list of early voting dates and hours.

Wednesday, August 8, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 9, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday, August 10, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday, August 13, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 14, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 15, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 16, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday, August 17, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 18, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 19, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Monday, August 20, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 21, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The final day for voting is August 25 at your normal polling place. If you wait until August 25 to vote, it will be at your normal polling place. To find your polling place, follow this link.

Posted by Bob Rehak, August 8, 2018

344 Days since Hurricane Harvey