NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Voters set records Monday, waiting in line for hours in some locations on the first day of early voting for the 2018 midterm elections.
More than 40,000 voters filled in ballots in Tarrant County, more than the combined midterm first day totals in 2010 and 2014. It also surpassed the first day total for the presidential election in 2012.
Dallas County had more than 42,000 voters turn out, also beating the last two midterm elections combined for the first day.
Election offices and voters reported wait times of anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, with dozens of voters still arriving even after polls had closed.
“First year, that I can remember at least, where a line was like this that took some time to get in,” said Chris Patton who was voting in North Richland Hills.
Tarrant County elections administrator Heider Garcia said his office was ready to deploy extra staff or equipment to polls if they’re needed.
“We’re going to be looking at numbers every day, turnout, wait times the whole thing,” he said.
In Dallas County a record 1.35 million people have registered to vote.
For those wanting to cast their ballots early, you’ll need to bring one of seven approved forms of photo identification with you.
- Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- TexasElection Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
- Texas handgun license issued by DPS
- United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
- United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph or
Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins told CBS 11 News the last of the voting equipment was delivered on Saturday.
Pippins said she expects Monday and Tuesday to be very busy days at the polls. “We are prepared. We have our workers prepared, they’re trained, the supplies are there. So we are ready for 7 a.m. and hopefully we’ll have a large turnout.”
County officials are also reassuring the public about the safety of the voting machines — pointing out they are not connected to the internet and can’t be hacked.
Dallas County has also added extra security to the elections website.
Pippins said everyone who made the deadline to register to vote, and whose application was approved, should be able to vote. “And if there is someone that has a problem we want you to give us a call before you just walk away and be defeated and not vote.
The last day to cast a ballot during early voting is on November 2. Election Day is November 6.