DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With just over 24 hours left to vote early, Juanita Vidal felt she couldn’t wait any longer. “I was actually waiting on my husband,” she said after voting at the Richardson Civic Center Thursday.
After driving past the polling location every day for more than a week, she arrived Thursday evening to find a line forming. “I needed to get out and vote,” she said.
Others who voted said it was the first chance in nearly three weeks of early voting they’d had.
Lee Ann Baty said, “I’m a school teacher so I’m really busy.”
“I work two jobs, and it’s kinda hard to break free,” said Trishawn Pate, who said she regrets not voting four years ago. She said she doesn’t want to feel that guilt for the next four years. “I was gonna freak out if I didn’t come out today. I really was.”
Several voters said they came out Thursday to avoid long lines on Election Day.
More than a quarter of all votes cast in Dallas County in the last presidential election occurred on Election Day. This year, with more time to vote early and more voters requesting mail-in ballots , it’s hard to know what will happen.
“We were expecting 200-250,000 on Election Day. It may be less than that since we’ve had that extra week of early voting,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
More than half of all registered voters in the Metroplex have cast their ballots.
“We’re not expecting long lines,” said Collin County Elections Administrator, Bruce Sherbet. “We think we’ve done something very successful and that’s spread out the vote.”
In Collin and Denton counties, the number of early votes has already surpassed the total votes cast in 2016. “It’s a historically high turnout. It breaks records of previous turnouts by far,” said Sherbet.
Judge Jenkins is urging anyone still wanting to vote not to wait. “We really encourage everyone to vote as soon as they can,” he said.
It was about a half hour wait in line for Juanita Vidal, but she was happy to have cast her ballot. After voting she simply said, “I hope it makes a difference.”