The polls are open today for the Texas state primaries, and Denton County political party leaders are hoping the voters use them.
While early voting numbers for this primary election are nearly even with the 2010 primary, officials are hoping a three-day weekend will not put a dent in the final count.
“We certainly would like to see the numbers increase significantly today,” said Phyllis Wolper, Denton County Democratic Party chairwoman.
The Democrats saw 1,713 turn out for early voting, a slight drop from the 1,954 early votes in the 2010 primary.
“The Democratic Party did not have very many contested races where it would generate the kind of interest or passion for people to follow and keep these dates straight, but we are hopeful today will be a great day,” Wolper said.
Wolper’s Republican counterpart, Dianne Edmondson, said the 17,167 early votes cast by Republicans is on par with what the party normally sees.
In 2010, 17,298 voted early.
“Typically, our early voting is 40 to 50 percent of the total vote. So depending on whether you take the high or low percentage, we hope to have 30,000 to 35,000 total votes,” Edmondson said.
She said it was a challenge with the state primary following a holiday weekend.
“That’s one thing we were all concerned about. That’s why we were stressing go vote early if you were going to be gone. We’re hoping people [coming] back Monday will go vote.”
Frank Phillips, Denton County elections administrator, said voting proceedings ran smoothly with no major issues of which to speak.
“I heard more of it during the city and school elections. People would come in and think they were voting for things in the primary,” he said. “I am sure there were those who came in for the primary and might have been confused, because there were so many things on the ballot that were outside the normal dates we hold this stuff. So it might have confused people.”
Phillips expects the primary will be as smooth as early voting.
“For the most part, people who tend to vote in the primary … are aware of when the primary is and then tend to follow that level of politics.
“So I am pretty confident they are aware that these are primary issues they are voting for.”
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .