Elections

In seven days, Texans have crushed the early voting total for the last midterm election

Cruz, O’Rourke call high early voting turnout ‘encouraging’, ‘defining moment of truth’

Republican Senator Ted Cruz and his challenger, Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke both greeted supporters in Houston on October 28, 2018. The Texas Senate race is one of the most closely watched in the U.S.
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Republican Senator Ted Cruz and his challenger, Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke both greeted supporters in Houston on October 28, 2018. The Texas Senate race is one of the most closely watched in the U.S.

Texans are heading to the polls in near record numbers, already exceeding early turnout tallies from the 2014 midterm election and closing in on 2012 presidential election numbers.

Through the first seven days of early voting, more than 2.9 million Texans in the state’s largest counties cast ballots in this year’s Nov. 6 midterm election.

That’s more than the 1.7 million Texans who voted early in the 2014 midterm election and close to the 3.4 million who voted early in the 2012 presidential election, state election results show.

“There’s obviously a high interest,” said Heider Garcia, Tarrant County’s elections administrator. “At this rate, it may eclipse the 2012 presidential turnout.

“We knew there was going to be a high turnout,” he said. “We just didn’t think it would get to presidential election level. But it’s good.”

This is the first major election Texans and voters across the country have weighed in on since the 2016 presidential election, when Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

At the top of this year’s ballot is the U.S. Senate battle between Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.

“Republicans and Democrats are energized this election, with President Trump serving as the lightning rod, creating both fervent supporters and opponents of his policies and Tweets,” Nancy Bocskor, the new director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at Texas Woman’s University, said by email.

“Add that component to the national media focus and record funding of the Cruz/O’Rourke U.S. Senate race and it equals record early voter turnout.”

This year’s total so far remains less than the nearly 4.5 million Texans who voted early in the 2016 presidential election.

Early voting runs through Friday, Nov. 2.

Midterm early voting

A record number of Texans — more than 15.7 million, including 1.1 million in Tarrant County — are registered to vote this year.

Anyone who wants to vote early can head to any early voting site in the county, show a photo ID and weigh in on dozens of races on this year’s mid-term ballot.

If you have any questions, about early voting or sites, call the Tarrant County Elections Center at 817-831-8683.

Here’s a look at this year’s turnout so far:

In Tarrant County, 276,727 voters cast ballots in the first seven days of early voting.

Harris and Dallas counties are the only counties — with 506,356 and 323,553 early votes cast — with larger turnouts than Tarrant County.

Bexar County cast the fourth most ballots, 241,751, and Travis County saw 216,112.

“Given Texas’ history of anemic voter turnout — most recently ranked dead last of the 50 states — it’s thrilling to watch voters cast their ballots,” Bocskor said. “Non-voters decided the 2016 election. In 2018, they’re finding their voices.”

Early voting sites

Early voting for the Nov. 6 general election runs through Friday. Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. this week.

Tarrant County Elections Center, 2700 Premier St., Fort Worth. This is the main early voting site. Emergency and limited ballots are available there.

All Saints Catholic Church Parish Hall, 200 N.W. 20th St., Fort Worth

Arlington Subcourthouse, 700 E. Abram St.

Asia Times Square, 2615 W. Pioneer Parkway, Grand Prairie

Bedford Public Library, 2424 Forest Ridge Drive

Benbrook Community Center, 228 San Angelo Ave.

B.J. Clark Annex, Room 4, 603 Southeast Parkway, Azle

Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center St., Arlington

Center for Community Service Junior League of Arlington, 4002 W. Pioneer Parkway, Arlington

Colleyville City Hall, 100 Main St.

Crowley Recreation Center, 405 S. Oak St., Crowley

Dan Echols Center, 6801 Glenview Dr., North Richland Hills

Diamond Hill-Jarvis Library, 1300 NE 35th St., Fort Worth

Eagle Mountain-Saginaw School District Administration Building 6, Training Room, 1200 Old Decatur Road, Saginaw

East Pointe Church of Christ, 3029 Handley Dr., Fort Worth

Euless Public Library, 201 N. Ector Drive, Euless

Elzie Odom Athletic Center, 1601 NE Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington

Forest Hill Civic and Convention Center, 6901 Wichita St., Forest Hill

The REC of Grapevine, 1175 Municipal Way

Griffin Subcourthouse, 3212 Miller Ave., Fort Worth

Haltom City Northeast Center, 3201 Friendly Lane, Haltom City

Hurst Recreation Center, 700 Mary Dr., Hurst

JPS Health Center Viola M. Pitts/Como, Lower Level, Suite 100, 4701 Bryant Irvin Road N., Fort Worth

Keller Town Hall, 1100 Bear Creek Parkway

Kennedale Community Center, 316 W. Third St.

Longhorn Activity Center, 5350 Basswood Blvd., Fort Worth

Mansfield Subcourthouse, 1100 E. Broad St.

Northeast Courthouse, 645 Grapevine Highway, Hurst

Rosemont Middle School, 1501 W. Seminary Dr., Fort Worth

Sheriff’s Office North Patrol Division, 6651 Lake Worth Blvd., Lake Worth

Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main St.

South Service Center, 1100 SW Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington

Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale St., Fort Worth

Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave.

Southwest Regional Library, 4001 Library Lane, Fort Worth

Southwest Subcourthouse, 6551 Granbury Road, Fort Worth

Tarrant County College Southeast Campus, EMB- C Portable Building, 2100 Southeast Parkway, Arlington

Tarrant County Plaza Building, 201 Burnett St., Fort Worth

Villages of Woodland Springs Amenity Center, 12209 Timberland Blvd., Fort Worth

White Settlement Public Library, 8215 White Settlement Road

Worth Heights Community Center, 3551 New York Ave., Fort Worth

Temporary sites

Several temporary early voting sites have special days and hours. They are:

7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 30-Nov. 1: Tarrant County College Northeast Campus, Student Center NSTU 1506, 828 Harwood Road, Hurst; Northwest Campus, WSTU 1305, 4801 Marine Creek Parkway, Fort Worth; South Campus, Student Center SSTU 1112, 5301 Campus Drive, Fort Worth.

7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 29-Nov. 1: UTA, Maverick Activities Center, 500 W. Nedderman Drive, Arlington; TCU, Brown-Lupton University Union, 2901 Stadium Drive.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley


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