PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

October 24, 2012

Early voting yields high turnout

Josh Brown
The Port Arthur News

— The majority of polling locations throughout the state saw an increase in early voting participation since the last presidential election, and Jefferson County was no different.

More than 6,300 Jefferson County residents cast a ballot on the first day of early voting, according to County Clerk Carolyn Guidry, an increase of 700 votes from last year.

Guidry said her office, which organizes the election process and tallies all the votes, was expecting a similar turnout to 2008. She said the county had to add voting machines and poll workers at certain locations.

“There’s a big interest in the is race,” she said. “It seems, for the moment, that voter apathy has disappeared.”

The Roger’s Park Community Center had the highest turnout in the county with 1,331 people voting there. The Nederland Recreation Center (806) and Johns Library in Beaumont (778) at the next highest showings.

No one voted at the Precinct One Service Center or the Queen of Vietnam Church on Monday.

The county received 1,808 ballots via mail on Monday, bringing the total number of votes to 8,110 for the first day.

Theresa Goodness, chief deputy for the clerk’s office, said voting was “moving along briskly.”

There are 147,330 registered voters in Jefferson County for this election.

The San Antonio Express-News reported a record-high turnout in Bexar County, with 30,087 residents voting on Monday. In the last presidential election, 29,119 people voted in Bexar County on the first day of early voting.

KVUE, a news station in Austin, reported more than 130,000 people cast a ballot in Travis County, which is 22 percent of the registered voters.

The Dallas Morning News reported a drop in first-day voting in Dallas County, from 34,000 in 2008 to 27,900 this year.

E-mail: joshnathanbrown@yahoo.com

Twitter: @joshnathanbrown