East Texas election officials, political party leaders prepare for Election Day
Polls open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Smith County Elections Administrator Michelle Allcon said Monday that Smith County is heading into Election Day with lower early voting turnout numbers compared to the last midterm election in 2018.
“If my math is correct, we’re roughly 6% behind the 2018 gubernatorial election,” Allcon said. “If you look at just straight numbers, it’s only about 1,500 less. However, we’ve had a lot of population growth in the last four years.”
The number of registered voters in Smith County jumped from close to 136K in 2018 to almost 154K in 2022.
Despite the increase, just over 49,000 people voted early in Smith County for the midterm election. That’s compared to 50,539 in 2018.
“It could be that the people just aren’t interested in what’s on the ballot,” Allcon said. “It could also be that they’re just waiting for Election Day, which is entirely possible.”
Gregg County also saw a lower turnout compared to 2018, despite adding about 4,600 registered voters.
Smith County GOP Chair David Stein believes many Republican voters waited for Election Day.
“I know a lot of folks who are concerned about the elections and election security are waiting until the last minute in order to do that,” Stein said. “So, the polling data would suggest that. Although the number of Republicans who have voted still has been very strong in early voting, even though it’s a little bit less than 2018.”
On Monday, Stein could be found handing out signs to volunteers at Smith County Republican Party Headquarters. He and others expressed confidence ahead of Election Day.
“Smith County is going to show up. I’m not at all concerned about our Smith County races. Judge Moran is going to be the next U.S. congressman and it’s not even going to be close,” Stein said.
On the other side of the political aisle, Smith County Democratic Chair Hector Garza said his party was also making last-minute efforts Monday to get out the vote.
“We still have people phone banking and block walking,” Garza said. “And will continue throughout tomorrow (Tuesday) until basically 6:45 or until it’s almost over.”
When asked about his feelings heading into Election Day, Garza said he was “optimistic.”
“Looking forward to a peaceful transition or if we’re remaining the same it doesn’t matter. It’s going to be good to say finally say the voters have spoken, it’s all over, and we’ll go from there,” Garza said.
Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
ELECTION DAY RESOURCES:
- Click here to check on your voter registration status.
- Click here to view voter ID requirements in Texas.
- Click here to view what’s not allowed at Texas polling locations.
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