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Early voting numbers in Central Texas lower than 2018 midterms

Early voting
Posted at 6:39 AM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 11:47:30-04

WACO, Texas — Gov. Abbott was live in Waco as part of 'Get Out The Vote' campaign - encouraging people to early vote.

Early voting is off to a relatively slow start in Central Texas, with current numbers showing a drop in early voter participation from the midterm election in 2018.

As of Monday, McLennan County has seen 28,381 early voters, or an 18.42% turnout. Seven days into early voting in 2018, the county had seen 25,463 voters, or a 25.39% turnout.

This comes as the county simultaneously breaks records for voter registration. Over 154,000 people are currently registered in McLennan County, the most in the county's history.

Bell County is following similar trends. As of Monday, 36,604, or 16.07% voted early. In 2018, it had already seen 41,442 voters, or 21.17%.

"Over the last few years, it seems like, voter turnout during like elections has increased steadily, which is what we were expecting," said McLennan County elections administrator Jared Goldsmith. He said it wasn't clear what's leading voters to postpone voting,

He added that most early voting turnout happens at the end of the week before the election, which could mean busy booths on Thursday and Friday.

One voter, 19-year-old Anthony Hailey was at the polls for the first time on Tuesday. He's hoping more show up to vote by Election Day.

"I hope it's not because of apathy," he said. "I know some people feel like their voices aren't being heard when they cast their vote but this is our system. We vote and we make our decisions."

Voters have until Friday to vote early. Otherwise, they'll just have to wait until Election Day next Tuesday.

More information about early voting in Bell and McLennan County is available on each county website.