Early Voting Turnout - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

2/28/08 - Nacogdoches

Early Voting Turnout

by Donna Mccollum

It takes an effort for Mabel Rector to make it to the polls. She's elderly and walks with a cane.  She needs a helping hand from her daughter. A big favor so she can proudly participate in the democratic process.  " You never know whether we will be able to vote again or not because my age and it will be another 4 years, I guess, before we have an opportunity to vote on the president, " said Rector following her vote.

Steadily voters exercise the right to vote. Then there are all the mail in ballots that arrive daily. Keeping up with it all creates a busy day for election coordinator Debra Gaston. Post it notes line her computer indicating what all it takes to run a major election. Election coordinator Debra Gaston said,  "We will be delivering equipment this weekend to some of the polling places. We have a school on Saturday for election judges and a school on Sunday. "

The Secretary of State says if the voting trends continue through election day, Texas will set a record for turnout in a primary election with 3.3 million Texans casting a ballot. Gaston said,  " As far as ballots go, it's anyone's guess, but we're prepared. "

Party chairs are excited to see people of both parties energized about voter participation. Democratic party chair Tim Garrigan said,  ' Yesterday the democrats were within 20 votes of the republicans and we have no real contested primary races on the local level here, so that's extraordinary. "  Republican party chair Jackie Yates said, " It's very, very important to take your local concerns and put them on the forefront of your consideration when you cast that vote. "

Due to the high turnout, East Texans are encouraged to take advantage of the last day of early voting. Follow Mrs Rector's lead and avoid the lines that may be encountered on election day.  

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