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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Race for the White House: Early voting will begin in Texas in just 36 days

Mail-in voters in Harris County could start receiving their ballots by the end of September.

HOUSTON — On Labor Day in 2020, the race for the White House in high gear. President Donald Trump spent the holiday in Washington and held a press conference to tout an economic rebound.

"We're witnessing a faster labor market recovery from any economic crisis in history," Trump said.

His opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, spent the day campaigning in Pennsylvania.

"As long as the stock market is doing great, everything is OK according to him," Biden said. "But everybody else is getting clobbered."

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic VP nominee Kamala Harris crisscrossed battleground Wisconsin. All that travel, not a coincidence. There are just 57 days until Election Day.

Early in-person voting in Texas starts Oct. 13 and runs through the 30th. That's just 36 days away. In July, Gov. Greg Abbott added six extra days of early voting due to COVID-19 concerns. Harris County plans to start sending out mail-in ballots to those who requested them in less than two weeks.

"I wouldn't be shocked to see 70 to 75% of votes cast before Nov. 3," said KHOU political analyst Bob Stein.

Stein said COVID-19 will change what the final stretch looks like.

"It's completely changed how we conduct politics in this country," Stein said. "It's shifted the campaign to social media, Instagram, or constant tweets from the president and clearly to Facebook."

The latest polling shows Biden with a slim advantage, but the race is far from over, especially if key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan tighten.

"I think it could be ... not a long night, but a long week," Stein said.

Polls suggest few voters have yet to make up their minds. He said in the current climate, the earlier you vote, the better.

"Trust the county clerks and the election officials in your county or state," he said. "And vote as early as you can, and if you can vote by mail return your ballot as soon as you've made a decision."