FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Early voting began in Texas for the March 3 primary as the Secretary of State announced there’s a new record number of registered voters in the Lone Star State.
There are 16,211,198 million registered voters, an increase of 104,214 from last month, which was also a record.
Preliminary numbers from Tuesday in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, and Denton Counties shows more Democrats voted than during the first day of early voting in 2016, the last time people voted for President.
Fewer Republicans had voted in the four counties than on the first day of early voting four years ago, but the numbers in Collin and Denton counties were not final.
Dallas County’s Elections Administrator Toni Pippins Poole said 4,003 Democrats votes Tuesday, compared to 2,908 in 2016.
She said there were 2,311 Republicans who voted Tuesday compared to 2,855 who voted in 2016.
In Tarrant County, Elections Administrator Heider Garcia said there were 3,852 Republicans who voted Tuesday, compared with 4,616 who voted on the first day of early voting four years ago.
He said there were 3,061 Democrats who voted Tuesday compared with 2,292 who voted on the same day in 2016.
Carole Wolanow voted early Tuesday and told us the issues most important to her. “Healthcare is the biggest one protecting Social Security and immigrant rights are very important to me.”
Her husband, Joram Wolanow said, “The divisiveness that now exists is really disturbing. We need to come together and stop the nasty fighting. Of course healthcare, a balanced budget, I don’t like the over-spending.”
Voters say they like the convenience of voting early.
Mark Stinner said, “It’s so much easier and I like to get it done right off the bat.”
Teresa Jan Hawthorne said, “Just come in, the new voting machines are great.. it’s easy to do.. follow simple instructions.. easy!”
Elections administrators in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton Counties said they didn’t have any major issues at polling locations Tuesday.
Dallas and Tarrant elections officials said they redoubled their efforts to make sure poll workers were trained on the equipment, most of which made its debut last November.
Both counties have 47 voting centers each for early voting, but will open far more on March 3.
Voters can go to any polling location in their county.
Early voting hours are between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Friday, and then extend from 7 a.m. -7 p.m. Saturday, and next Monday through Friday.
There is early voting Sunday, February 23, but the hours depend on the county you’re in.