Turnout High on First Day of Early Voting

Steven Pickering
October 22, 2018 - 5:55 pm

© Carucha L. Meuse-USA TODAY Sport

Early voting for the November 6th general election began on Monday, and several polling places had long lines of people eager to cast their ballots. 

In Dallas County, more than 42,000 people had voted early as of 4:30pm. KRLD's Austin York found a wait time of approximately one hour at the polling location at the Marsh Lane Baptist Church. "I do think it's a unique situation this year," one woman in line said. "It seems like a lot of people my age are eager to vote."

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins urged voters to take advantage of the county's on-line resources before heading to their polling place. "There are 55 early voting locations in Dallas County to serve you. And people can visit dallascountyvotes.org for an interactive map, showing the estimated amount of time to expect at each early voting location when they are ready to early vote," he said. "At any given time there are numerous early voting locations with a wait time of less than 20 minutes, while others will have a wait time in excess of 40 minutes."

In Collin County, officials say more than 30,000 ballots were cast by late-afternoon on Monday. "That is way up from what we were four years ago," said Collin County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet. That could meet or surpass the total for the first day of early voting in the 2016 Presidential election. 

"We're 100,000 more registered voters than we were four years ago, we're 40,000 than we were in the Presidential election," said Sherbet. "We were expecting a very robust first day."

The race between incumbent Senator Ted Cruz and challenger Beto O'Rourke appears to be driving the strong voter turnout. "It sure seems to me it's the Senate race," Sherbet said. "That one at the top is probably the main one you're seeing this turnout on the first day."

He does expect the lines at polling places to get a little shorter this week. "It does normally start going down somewhat," after the first day, Sherbet said, "then it starts going back up again. The last 2 or 3 days are always the busiest days."

Election officials across north Texas have posted information about early voting times and locations on their web sites:

Dallas County  

Collin County

Tarrant County

Denton County