NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - East Texas is doing its part in fulfilling record turnout projections in Texas early voting. By the end of the first day of early voting Nacogdoches County recorded 1207 voters at the annex, breaking an early voting record. Votes at the Cushing satellite voting poll had not come in at this report.
This historic presidential year is making Elaine Pondant feel terrific on this first day of early voting. She explained, "It was very crowded in there which means people are excited their right to vote which is something not done very often. And the other is because voting for a candidate I hope will win."
Lines formed soon after the polls opened, bringing a County Judge Joe English to the parking lot to monitor traffic. "There's a line in there right now and so it's a lot of interest being generated and people were coming out early," observed English. Deputies keep traffic moving to accommodate the turnout. At the busiest waits are less than 10 minutes. Assistant Election Administrator Todd Stallings said, "It is what we expected. We're having a very large turnout. It's first thing in the morning right now and we've had them lined up out the door all day."
On the outskirts of things, Democratic Party volunteer Ralph Sanders uses one last chance to sway voters to their side. "Trying to get them vote straight ticket," commented Sanders. According to stallings, even with a straight ticket you can still check a candidate from another party and that vote will be counted too, along with the straight ticket votes.
Democratic Party chair Tim Garrigan's advice is, "The thing we have to be careful about is being too confident. We've got to make sure we get every voter out. We have to do whatever we can to help everybody vote." The persuasion comes too late for republican Phillip Jordan. "I'm didn't think about it too much. I'm pretty much Republican this voting issue, " Jordan shared. First time voter Ashley Cohagan is excited that young people are bringing energy to the election. "I'm really impressed with all my friends. All of them are really strong with who they want to win. They all say they're going out to vote," said the SFA student.