Early voting for the March primary election will end on Friday and three of our counties have already experienced a larger turnout of Democratic voters than in 2014.
In McLennan County, for example, in 2014, there were 1,095 Democrats voted by mail or in person during the early voting period. Currently, 1,827 Democrats had already voted on day five of early voting. In 2014, 5,048 voted in person or by mail during the early voting period. In 2018, there have been 4,327 Republicans who had voted on Feb. 26 or before.
In Bell County, 1,186 Democrats participated in the 10 days of early voting in 2014. That number was already at 1,843 on the fifth day of early voting this year. On the Republican side, 6,914 voters participated in early voting in 2014 and 5,360 have already voted ahead of Election Day next week.
In Coryell County, voter turnout during the primaries is higher overall. In five days of early voting this year, 1,977 people from both parties had already voted compared to 1,818 in 2014 when he had a race with similar offices on the ballot.
McLennan County Elections Administrator Kathy Van Wolfe said she is not surprised to see more folks casting their ballots before Election day.
"More and more, every election, early voting is a trend that people like to do. Some people like to get it done, in case they're out of town on Election Day but there are also people who just like to go out on Election Day and vote," Van Wolfe said.
There are more registered voters now than in 2014 in three counties mentioned above.
LaTayla Drake who voted on Tuesday in McLennan County said choosing her elected officials was important for her.
"There have been certain candidates that I've actually met and like what they stand for and I thought it was important for me to exercise my voice," Drake said.
The 23-year-old said it was better for her to go to the polls before Election Day.
"If something comes up and there is an emergency, you miss your chance to vote, if you didn't get to vote. I early vote just in case somewhere were to come up," Drake said.
Election Day will be on March 6.
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