More than 14 million Texans have registered to vote in the November elections, the secretary of state’s office announced Thursday, calling the number a record high.
The total marks an increase of 2.8 percent since the most recent presidential contest and 5.7 percent since the last time candidates for governor were on the ballot. In Bexar and Dallas counties — two of the most populous in the state — voter registration outpaced expected population growth from 2012 to 2014.
Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan said the trend was impressive given the fact it’s an off-year election.
“Having multiple statewide offices open for the first time in years — there’s just a lot of voter interest,” Sullivan said. “Statewide, the candidates are campaigning hard. Both of the primary parties are campaigning hard. There’s been a lot of media covering the candidates. Texas is just a huge state that people pay attention to.”
Voter registration is drawing more interest than usual this fall as Democrats work to “expand the electorate” and make the state competitive for their party. Joaquin Guerra, political director of the Texas Organizing Project, agreed with Sullivan that voters are taking notice of the choices they face in November.
“More people are paying closer attention,” he said. “It’s creating the opportunity for voters to actually choose and endorse which direction they want the state go.”
The secretary of state’s office counted 14,025,441 registered voters for the elections on Nov. 4. The previous record was in 2012, when more than 13.6 million voters signed up.
Oct. 6 was the last day to register to vote. Early voting begins Monday for the elections on Nov. 4.