FORT WORTH -- Residents continued casting ballots at a record pace Friday, positioning Tarrant County to exceed the number of early votes four years ago.By Friday afternoon, more than 150,000 local votes had already been cast in the Nov. 6 presidential election."We've been very busy," said Steve Raborn, the county's elections administrator. "Phones are ringing. People are coming in."It's definitely going to be a high turnout."Voters are turning out in droves across the state.Through Thursday, more than 1 million residents in the 15 largest counties had cast their votes in person, according to the most recent records from the Texas secretary of state.That's up from the 974,445 Texans who had voted early and in person during the same time frame four years ago.The highest percentage of turnout has been in Collin, Galveston and Fort Bend counties, according to state records.Raborn and Secretary of State Hope Andrade are among those who have encouraged Texans to vote early.While early voting has gone relatively smoothly in Tarrant County, some concerns have been registered.Local voters have logged a few complaints that the electronic machines are not properly recording straight-party votes."We've identified a handful of voters who were using the wrong button to navigate through the machine," Raborn said."The main mission is that voters should double-check the summary screen at the end of the ballot to make sure the ballot is exactly as you intended it to be. If there's a problem, call over an election worker for assistance."They can give advice on how to use the ballot," he said. "But if the ballot is cast, it's too late to do anything."Raborn posted on the Tarrant County Elections Center's website that all of the county's eSlate voting machines were thoroughly tested before the election and are working properly.Raborn has created a "rumor watch" section on the website to deal with election rumors as they arise.He addresses issues ranging from problems with machines to reports that teams of international observers may be watching elections -- but not in Tarrant County.Four years ago, 66 percent of Tarrant County's registered voters headed to the polls for the presidential race, most of them casting their ballots early.That year, 431,799 locals voted early in person, 29,798 mailed in ballots and 173,671 showed up in person on Election Day, records show.By late Friday afternoon, 151,904 Tarrant County voters had cast ballots in person, compared with 149,216 through the end of the fifth day of voting four years ago, local results show.Some of the highest local turnouts have been at the Southwest Subcourthouse, Keller Town Hall, the Mansfield Subcourthouse and the South Service Center.At the top of the ballot, of course, is the race between President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney.Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are also on the ballot.Near the top of the Texas ballot is the race to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate, featuring Republican Ted Cruz, Democrat Paul Sadler, Libertarian John Jay Myers and Green Party candidate David B. Collins.And there are a slew of congressional and legislative races, statewide races, judicial races, State Board of Education races and local races ranging from sheriff to county commissionerEarly voters may go to any of Tarrant County's sites.They should bring identification -- their voter registration certificate or an alternate ID, such as a driver's license, a birth certificate, a passport, U.S. citizenship papers or a utility bill, a bank statement, a government check or other government document.Early voting runs through Friday.Online: To see a sample ballot, go to www.tarrantcounty.com/eVote. For other information, call 817-831-8683.Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610Twitter: @annatinsley
Tarrant County is looking for election workers who are fluent in English and Spanish.
The pay is $9 an hour, and the hours are roughly 6 a.m. till 8:30 p.m.
Workers must be registered voters in Tarrant County and cannot be elected officials or candidates. Immediate relatives and employees of candidates are not eligible, along with campaign managers or treasurers for anyone on the ballot.
Training is available.
Anyone interested should call 817-831-8683.