Early voting numbers in Bell County much higher than expected

Posted at 8:27 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 21:27:16-04

BELL COUNTY, Texas — Early voting is underway and turnout in Bell County has some officials a little surprised.

Local elections tend to see lower voter turnout than national ones, and early voting follows the same trend, but that is not the case in Bell County this time.

"Turn out has been phenomenal. In the first week of early voting, we’ve had over seven thousand three hundred people cast their ballots,” said James Stafford, public information officer for Bell County.

It is one thousand five hundred more than they saw in the March primary and over five thousand more than last year's November election.

Why are the numbers so high?

”We have multiple school bonds on the ballots and other things in addition to constitutional amendments. So, I’m sure that all of those are contributing to an increased interest in participation,” said Stafford.

A loaded ballot is why some voters are hitting the polls in Killeen.

”The mayor, the school board-those are my two issues that I would like and the councilmen. They also have so many amendments, city amendments,” said Sandra and Charles Johnson, Killeen voters.

Some voters in Killeen are voting early to give them more time to read propositions that can be written in a confusing way.

”I had to read several of them, like, several times to make sure that if I'm against it, I'm voting the right thing down here,” said Gerard Doyle, Killeen voter.

Of course, the ease of voting early is a plus.

”If you get to vote early, you don’t have the rush of trying to get it done or the hustle of trying to get it done at the last minute,” said the Johnsons.

Tuesday is the last day of early voting, and you can do so from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at your local polling location.

The official voting day is Saturday, May 7.