Early voting turnout up in McLennan, Bell counties

Both McLennan and Bell County saw higher early voting turnout for the March primaries.
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 8:18 AM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Early voting ended Friday, and in some Central Texas counties, turnout was higher than in March 2018, the last year Texas held a primary for governor.

KWTX spoke with Jared Goldsmith, elections administrator for McLennan County on Thursday, and at the time, he said voter turnout was roughly the same as 2018, but he hoped turnout would be higher.

“It just seems to be the trend,” Goldsmith said. “More people are voting and which is great. You know, I hope that we have more people who are taking advantage of being able to have their voice heard.”

Goldsmith said typically, the last day of early voting is one of their biggest turnout days. Data from McLennan County showed voter turnout was up compared to 2018. This year, 13,648 people voted early in-person or by mail. In 2018, 11,200 people voted early or by mail, which is a nearly 22 percent increase.

In Bell County, interim elections administrator Shay Luedeke said voter turnout was up nearly 14 percent, despite two polling locations being closed on Thursday due to inclement weather. In 2022, 13,083 people voted, compared to 11,486 in 2018.

On Election Day, voters will be able to go to any location, there will be 41 polling centers open, and you can even check wait times online at bellcountytx.com/voting.

“The election judges at those locations will be updating those periodically throughout the day,” Luedeke said. “And you’ll be able to go online and see that this location may have a 30 minute wait but one just a mile down the road may have a five minute wait.”

McLennan County will have 34 locations open on Election Day. Polls across the state will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voters can find more information about some of the races on the ballot here.

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