Elections

Is ‘voter fatigue’ keeping you away from the polls? Last day to early vote is Friday

Vote here signs can be found at early voting sites throughout Tarrant County.
Vote here signs can be found at early voting sites throughout Tarrant County. FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM

Friday is your last chance to vote early in the Nov. 7 election.

Granted, less than 2 percent of Texans in the state’s 15 largest counties cast their ballots early so far, but election officials encourage Texans to head to the polls early to avoid lines — if any lines occur.

This year’s election, which features everything from constitutional amendments to local school bond proposals, is not resonating with many voters.

In Tarrant County, just 14,640 voters turned in ballots through the 10th day of early voting, falling short of the nearly 29,000 ballots submitted at the same point during a similar election in 2015.

Statewide, just 173,974 people — 1.77 percent of Texas voters — cast ballots in this year’s Nov. 7 election through Wednesday, according to the most recent records from the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

Nearly twice as many Texans had voted at this point in the 2015 Constitutional Amendment election.

“We had a pretty busy election year last year,” said Stephen Vickers, Tarrant County’s elections administrator. “This has got to be voter fatigue.

“Next year, we are going to have a big primary and I think you’ll see people turn out then.”

Even so, Vickers said he believes the number of early voters on Friday, the last day to vote early, will grow.

“Friday will be the busiest day,” he said. “People see that early voting ends that day, so they take advantage of it.”

Polls are open Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In this election, Texans weigh in on seven constitutional amendments addressing issues ranging from tax exemptions for spouses of first responders killed while on duty to raffles at professional sporting events.

And in Tarrant County, voters from nearly a dozen communities will face issues ranging from the $749 million proposed bond package for the Fort Worth school district to whether Euless should allow liquor stores.

More than 77 percent of the state’s voting age population, 19.5 million, is registered to vote, state records show.

After that, there’s one more chance to vote — from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7, Election Day.

“I would always suggest early voting over Election Day for the convenience,” Vickers said.

About $53 million would pay for improvements at Arlington Heights High School for programs like jewelry making classes and the agricultural program.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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