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Record Early Voting Throughout Texas

November 1, 2012 by  


Voters turn out for presidential race, state and local ballots and local bond issues.

VotingWith the presidential election less than a week away, Texans are heading to the polls in record numbers. Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade last week reported a record number of registered voters in the state – 13,646,226 – the highest number in state history.

And when early voting began on last Monday for the upcoming Nov. 6 General Election, many counties across the state reported lines at polling places with many of those polling places recording record numbers of voters. The presidential race as well as some state and local offices up for election, along with billions of dollars’ worth of local bond issues have voters flocking to the polls.

Andrade said the Secretary of State’s office has tried to “engage with the public as much as we can,” noting that the office has reached out to Texas voters through social media by way of its Facebook page and Twitter account. And the Secretary of State’s office also announced a new Smartphone application that will offer reminders of election dates and sample ballots in some areas. Andrade is crisscrossing the state encouraging voter turnout and seeking a record number of participants in the upcoming election.

If the first day of early balloting is any indication, Andrade’s efforts and those of her office may be working. In Harris County, 47,903 persons voted Monday. That number is 20 percent higher than the previous record of 39,201 votes cast four years ago. In addition to the presidential election drawing early voters, Harris County voters will face bond issues for the Houston Independent School District, the City of Houston and Houston Community College.

Record numbers of voters were reported elsewhere around the state as well. In Jefferson County, 6,302 voters cast their ballots early, besting the 2008 figure of 5,628 votes cast. Lines of voters were reported extending out of the doors of some polling places all day. Jefferson County Clerk Caroline Guidry had to add voting machines at that location, increasing the number of machines to 20, which she said marked the first time a Jefferson County polling location had that many voting machines in use for early voting.

With the presidential election less than two weeks away, Texans are heading to the polls in record numbers. Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade last week reported a record number of registered voters in the state – 13,646,226 – the highest number in state history.

And when early voting began on Monday for the upcoming Nov. 6 General Election, many counties across the state reported lines at polling places with many of those polling places recording record numbers of voters. The presidential race as well as some state and local offices up for election, along with billions of dollars’ worth of local bond issues have voters flocking to the polls.

Andrade said the Secretary of State’s office has tried to “engage with the public as much as we can,” noting that the office has reached out to Texas voters through social media by way of its Facebook page and Twitter account. And the Secretary of State’s office also announced a new Smartphone application that will offer reminders of election dates and sample ballots in some areas. Andrade is crisscrossing the state encouraging voter turnout and seeking a record number of participants in the upcoming election.

If the first day of early balloting is any indication, Andrade’s efforts and those of her office may be working. In Harris County, 47,903 persons voted Monday. That number is 20 percent higher than the previous record of 39,201 votes cast four years ago. In addition to the presidential election drawing early voters, Harris County voters will face bond issues for the Houston Independent School District, the City of Houston and Houston Community College.

Record numbers of voters were reported elsewhere around the state as well. In Jefferson County, 6,302 voters cast their ballots early, besting the 2008 figure of 5,628 votes cast. Lines of voters were reported extending out of the doors of some polling places all day. Jefferson County Clerk Caroline Guidry had to add voting machines at that location, increasing the number of machines to 20, which she said marked the first time a Jefferson County polling location had that many voting machines in use for early voting.

In Tyler, Election Administrator Karen Nelson said she had never seen such heavy voting activity on the first day of early balloting since she began dealing with early voting in 2001. A total of 4,379 voters cast ballots in Smith County Monday. That is more than 1,300 more than cast ballots on the first day of voting in 2008.

Bexar County voting also outpaced that of the last presidential election in 2008. Some 30,087 voters cast ballots on the first day of early voting, topping the 29,119 votes cast the first day of balloting in 2008. In Tarrant County, 30,136 voted in person, compared to 28,757 who voted in person on the first day of early voting in 2008.

Other records fell in smaller counties as well. Hunt County voters came out in record numbers. There were 1,864 ballots cast on Monday, setting an all-time local record. That number eclipsed the previous record of 1,514 votes cast the first day of early voting for the 2008 presidential election.

Totals in Dallas County were actually slightly lower than first-day balloting in 2008. A total of 32, 266 individuals cast ballots Monday, compared to 34,000 who voted on the first day of early voting in 2008.

Early voting continues through Friday, Nov. 2, and the General Election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 6. Voting on Election Day must be in voters’ home precinct.

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