The number of El Paso County ballots cast in the first week of the early voting was more than the total votes cast in all but one prior midterm election early voting period.

Almost 54,000 El Pasoans voted Monday through Sunday. Early voting continues through Friday, Nov. 4, and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Other than the record-shattering 2018 election – El Pasoan Beto O’Rourke’s first time on a statewide ballot – the highest El Paso County turnout in the entire 12-day early voting period for a midterm election was 47,111 in 2002.

In 2018, more than 139,000 El Pasoans cast ballots in the two-week early voting period, including 85,809 in the first week.

After seven days of voting, turnout in El Paso County was 40% less than the 2018 pace but 165% higher than in the 2014 midterm.

Just under 11% of registered voters in El Paso County cast ballots between Monday and Sunday. Statewide, about 17% of registered voters went to the polls in that period, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office.

Turnout in El Paso and other border counties has long lagged behind the rest of Texas.

In 2018, with O’Rourke challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a record 45% of El Paso County registered voters cast ballots in that midterm election. Statewide, more than 53% of registered voters cast ballots that year, a modern high for a midterm election in Texas.

O’Rourke is again on the statewide ballot this year, challenging incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott.

In 2014, just over 20% of registered El Paso County voters cast ballots in that midterm election, compared to 33% statewide.

How to vote this week

El Paso County has 33 early voting sites; hours vary by site. Click here for locations and times.

To help prepare to vote, you can generate a personalized sample ballot by clicking here.

The El Paso Matters Voter Guide gives you information on candidates in local contested races, including their stances on major issues. Click here to view the guide.

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Robert Moore is the founder and CEO of El Paso Matters. He has been a journalist in the Texas Borderlands since 1986.