NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s now up to the American people to decide who will be the next President of the United States. The polls here in Texas opened at 7 a.m. and voters here and across the country are already casting ballots.
There was a record early voter turnout in Texas, so election lines today are expected to be long. The Secretary of State’s Office says Texas had 15.1 million registered voters going into Tuesday’s election. Almost 4.5 million Texas residents cast early ballots in the state’s 15 largest counties.
Before the lunch hour there was almost no line at all at the polls in downtown Dallas. There are some 6,000 people registered to cast their ballot at the George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Building location on Commerce Street.
Elizabeth and J.D. Toony were first in line to cast their ballot this morning. “It’s important to cast your vote. Yeah, it’s important to vote, whether we like the candidates or not. It’s our right and we need to take advantage of that. It’s our responsibility.”
People going to the downtown polling location said the line moved fast and while the results won’t be known for a while they felt good about casting their ballots.
Voter Katelynn Wilms said, “I voted on all the local issues. I think I did a lot more research on all the local issues and the local candidates, because I know they’re going to directly affect my life and my community.”
Other voters, like Louie Tijerina, have their eyes on the presidential race. “It’s a relief now that the process is over, but I’m anxious to see what the results will be,” he said.
Texas law requires voters to show one of seven acceptable forms of photo ID, like a driver’s license, military ID card, or handgun license. If you do not have a photo ID, you can sign a declaration at the polls explaining why and show a support document, like a birth certificate, or paycheck with your name and address printed on it.
Unlike during early voting, those casting their ballots today must go to their assigned polling location within their precinct. Click here to look up that information on the Texas Secretary of State webpage.
Out on the campaign trial until the last minute, the presidential nominees battled it out late into the early morning. And the race for votes has continued to grow tighter in the past 24 hours.
Early this morning, Hillary Clinton held a midnight rally in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was there with her husband Bill, daughter Chelsea, along with entertainers with her husband and daughter along with Lady Gaga and Jon Bon Jovi.
Last night, Mrs. Clinton campaigned with the Obamas and Bruce Springsteen in Philadelphia.
Donald Trump wrapped up his campaign in New Hampshire, but that was after stops in Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Political analyst Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, says if Trump were to pull an upset and win it would most likely happen one way. “It would be a surge of white working-class, high-school educated voteres that traditionally stay home or vote in larger proportions than the college-educated, suburban, white women that we hear a lot of talk about leaving Trump to go to Clinton.”
This morning, according to polling averages in each state, Hillary Clinton was forecast to have 272 Electoral College votes, and Donald Trump 266. You need 270 to win.
Polls showed Clinton would win crucial Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Hampshire, and Trump would keep all of Mitt Romney’s 2012 states and additionally win Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada.
For Trump to win he would need to win New Hampshire over to get him the 270 Electoral College votes, If he can’t win Florida, he would have to win a combination of Pennsylvania and Colorado, which are within three points or a combination of Michigan and Virginia. Most analysts believe that will still be a challenge for Republican candidate.
Starting tonight at 6 p.m. CBS 11 News Political Reporter Jack Fink will be online on CBSDFW.COM and on Facebook Live with election results. Republican Allen West and Democrat Domingo Garcia will share their insight along with the panel. We’ll also be taking your questions — so join in on the conversation!
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