A lot of Denton County voters are taking advantage of the early voting period for the Nov. 6 general election, and that’s a good thing.
As of Friday afternoon, the number of ballots recorded since early voting began a few days ago was running about 12 percent ahead of the total at this time during the early voting period for the 2008 presidential election.
And we’re betting that figure is even higher today because early voting continued Saturday, and it’s easier for a lot of folks to make it to a polling place on a weekend.
Haven’t voted yet? Why not plan to go today? Many early voting locations are open from 1 to 6 p.m., according a schedule posted at http://elections.dentoncounty.com, the Denton County Election Administration website.
Polling places will reopen for early voting Monday and the early voting period will continue through Friday, according to the posted schedule. Many area polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day during the coming week.
Where should you vote? Before Election Day, you can vote at any designated early voting location. That means that you can drop by an area polling place after church, while shopping or during a trip to visit an area restaurant. Considering the options available, there’s really no excuse not to vote.
You can find a list of early polling places at the Election Administration website, along with the days and hours that each location will be open during the next few days.
On Election Day, however, you must vote at the location assigned to your individual precinct. If you don’t know your precinct number, you can call the Elections Office at 940-349-3200 or you can use the county’s voter registration search link on the website.
The convenience of voting at any early polling place is one reason that a lot of area residents opt to cast their ballots during the early voting period. We also like the wide range of hours available at most area polling places during this time. It’s a good way to encourage voters.
The extended period for early voting and the wide range of polling place options also helps prevent long lines at the polls, eliminating a favorite excuse of fair-weather voters.
If you’re one of those traditionalists who prefers to wait until Election Day to cast your ballot, that’s fine, too. It really doesn’t matter when you vote — as long as you vote.
Turnout numbers for early voting are among the heaviest in recent years, county officials told us, and we’d like to keep that pace going. In fact, we’d like nothing better than to see a final tally show that all registered voters had cast a ballot. Denton County Elections Administrator Frank Phillips told us that the county has enjoyed an increase in voter registration — about 385,000 have registered to vote.
In 2008, more than 245,000 people turned out to vote, including more than 183,000 who voted early, officials said. The county had nearly 347,000 registered voters at that time.
To cast ballots, voters need to show their voter registration certificate or any of seven approved identifications, including a U.S. passport or state driver’s license.
Photo identification is not required when voting in person during early voting or on Election Day.
In addition to the general election, several Denton County jurisdictions have local issues on the ballot, so a lot of important decisions will be made.
We hope you will take your place among those casting ballots and be a part of the process.
We’ll keep nudging you during the days ahead — watch for voter turnout tallies and reminders of where and when to vote.
We want you to remember one thing — you can make a difference.
Every vote counts.