More than 10,000 people had cast early primary election ballots as of Tuesday afternoon, and officials believe the turnout is fueled by the attention garnered by the multiple contested races and high-profile local and gubernatorial races.
The turnout is 32 percent higher than the early-voting turnout 2012, and Frank Phillips, Denton County election administrator, said that based on his experience, he expects to see turnout numbers continue to build.
“A combination of things is impacting the turnout,” Phillips said. “We have a number of local races and a growing interest in statewide races.”
In a breakdown of the voting data provided by Phillips, early voting for the Republican races has the largest turnout, which isn’t unusual, given that Denton County is a predominately Republican county, based on historical voting data.
In one week, more than 9,215 residents voted in the Republican primaries, up 22 percent from 2012, when only 7,558 voted. And in the Democratic races, 1,688 residents had voted as of Tuesday afternoon, a 140 percent increase over 2012.
High-profile campaigns include contested races for county judge and district attorney.
County Judge Mary Horn, who has run unopposed since 2006, is facing two GOP challengers, Corinth Mayor Paul Ruggiere and Highland Village attorney Sherman Swartz.
District Attorney Paul Johnson is facing Lantana attorney Karen Alexander and Denton attorney Hank Paine, both of whom announced their candidacies months ago.
Republican state Rep. Myra Crownover is also facing a primary challenge from Denton insurance agent Read King in the District 64 race, with the winner facing Democrat Emy Lyons in the November election.
Early voting ends Friday and election day is Tuesday.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.
EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS
Early voting in the Denton County primary election continues through Friday. Here are the times and locations. During early voting, anyone can cast a ballot at any location. On election day Tuesday, voters must go to their precincts to vote.
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Friday
Denton: Denton County Elections Administration, 701 Kimberly Drive
Argyle: Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St.
Carrollton: Carrollton Public Library, 4220 N. Josey Lane
Cross Roads: Steve E. Copeland Government Center, 1400 FM424
Dallas: Frankford Town Homes, 18110 Marsh Lane
Double Oak: Double Oak Town Hall, 320 Waketon Road
Flower Mound: Flower Mound Police and Municipal Court Building, 4150 Kirkpatrick Lane
Frisco: Frisco Fire Station No. 7, 330 W. Stonebook Parkway
Highland Village: Highland Village Municipal Complex, 1000 Highland Village Road
Justin: Justin Municipal Complex, 415 N. College St.
Lake Dallas: Lake Dallas City Hall, 212 Main St.
Lewisville: Lewisville Municipal Annex, 1197 W. Main St.
Pilot Point: Pilot Point Senior Center, 310 S. Washington St.
The Colony: The Colony Government Center, 6301 Main St.
The following early voting locations will only be open on the dates and times listed.
Corinth: Corinth City Hall, 3300 Corinth Parkway. Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Friday.
Krum: Krum ISD Administration Building, 1200 Bobcat Blvd. Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Friday.
Sanger: First Baptist Church of Sanger, 708 S. Fifth St. Open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. today; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
Trophy Club: Svore Municipal Building, 100 Municipal Drive. Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today though Friday.