More than 32,000 Tarrant County voters have already gone to the polls for Saturday’s city and school elections.That easily tops the 19,337 early votes cast in person in last May’s smaller local election and comes close to the 35,299 such votes in May 2011, local election records show.“Turnout this year is a little higher than we thought it might be,” said Steve Raborn, Tarrant County elections administrator. “That might be part of a general trend toward voting early. In the last few elections, we have had really high early turnout.”By the time the polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, 32,249 voters had cast ballots in person.The two days with the biggest turnout were Monday, with 4,855 votes cast in person, and Tuesday, with 8,024.The Grapevine Community Activities Center, the Euless Public Library, the Bedford Public Library, the South Service Center in Arlington and Southlake Town Hall drew the most early voters.Hot-button issues that seem to be driving at least some of the turnout include the Birdville school bond election, which would close some campuses, and a proposal in Grapevine to impose term limits on elected city officials.Contested races include the Arlington mayor’s seat, four City Council spots in Fort Worth and three in Arlington, two Fort Worth school trustee posts and three seats on the Tarrant Regional Water District board.“The election has gone pretty smoothly,” Raborn said.An additional 5,071 ballots have been mailed in, local records show. All mail-in ballots must be returned to the elections office by Saturday.Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.Photo identification requirements are not in effect in Texas because they have not received federal approval. When going to the polls, take your voter registration certificate, a driver’s license, and a utility bill or other mail from a government entity.For sample ballots, go to www.tarrantcounty.com/elections.For more information, call the Tarrant County Elections Center, 817-831-8683.
Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610 Twitter: @annatinsley