NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Election officials are saying voter turnout for the Texas primary could shatter records.
Early voting numbers were huge in Precinct 1 in Dallas and people were even lined up at locations before they opened Tuesday morning.
There were both long-time voters and those who were choosing a candidate in the primary for the first time ever who made their way to polling locations. First-time voter Harris Cashen said the number of people at his polling place surprised him. “There were quite a few actually, more than would have expected.”
One Dallas voter said there is simply a different climate to this election compared to years’ past. That sentiment is being reflected in the number of people casting their ballots.
Voter Carmen Emery said, “I think because of the divisiveness and the undercurrent of ‘not-niceness’ so to speak; that has captured people’s attention and I think people are… unfortunately it’s polarizing. People are coming to vote against folks and others are just entrenched.”
Republicans are predicting 1,000,000 more people will vote in the primary. If so, that would set a new record. Before the end of the lunch hour, officials at Dallas County GOP said several precincts had requested more ballots. Apparently, elections judges were told that when they’d exhausted 65-percent of their supply to request more. Some precincts getting ballots had reached those numbers, but others were anxious about running low and asked for more ballots as a precaution.
In 2012, in Dallas County, more than 51,000 people participated in early primary voting. This year there was some 112,000 ballots cast.
In 2012, when the primary was in May, there were 12,482 Democrat and 33,464 Republican Tarrant County voters who cast their ballots early. That’s a total of 45,946. According to the Tarrant County Elections website, this year there were more than 125,000 Tarrant County early voters.
Transportation to the polls is also being made easier. Passengers who show a valid voters registration card can ride DART free today, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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