Weatherford Democrat

November 6, 2012

County's early voting numbers down

Christin Coyne
Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD —  

Compared to the previous presidential election, about 3,000 fewer Parker County voters showed up to cast their vote early this year. 

Those who cast their votes in person between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2 totaled 29,254, according to Laura Watkins, Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator. That number is less than 37 percent of 75,946 registered voters in Parker County. 

Another 1,840 have voted by mail.

Early voting turnout approached 40 percent in 2008, when 31,183 of 71,287 registered voters went to the polls early, according to numbers provided by the elections office. An additional 2,000 people voted early by mail in 2008. 

The 2008 election brought out a record number of Parker County early voters. 

More than 150,000 fewer Texans voted early this year than in 2008, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office, and that might signal a lower turnout overall.

The percentage of registered voters casting their ballots early dropped from 42 percent in 2008 to 39.3 percent in 2012. But that is still a big percentage compared to 2004, when 29.6 percent voted early.

In swing states where it’s unclear whether President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney will dominate, early voters have set records.

Polls indicate Romney and Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz will easily carry Texas. That could depress turnout among Republicans and Democrats who believe their votes will make little difference to the outcome of the top races.

However there are some tight congressional and local races in some counties that have attracted early interest. More than 40 percent of registered voters have cast ballots in Tarrant, Bexar, Denton, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Williamson and Galveston counties. Collin County had the highest turnout of populous areas, with 48.3 percent voting early.

Registered voters can cast their ballot at polls from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. 

See the list of Parker County polling places at www.co.parker.tx.us. 

 

Here are a few of the local issues and candidates on the ballot: 

• Voters in Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 have an option on the ballot that, if approved, would legalize the sale of beer or wine for off-premise consumption. 

• Voters in the Central Community VFD and Adell-Whitt VFD fire protection areas have a measure on their ballot that, if approved, would create an emergency services district, allowing the district to levy a tax of up to 10 cents per $100 valuation to provide fire and emergency services protection for the area. 

• Voters in unincorporated Millsap and ESD No. 7 areas have two propositions on the ballot that, if both are approved in both areas, would add the Millsap fire protection district to the emergency services district, allowing ESD No. 7 to collect taxes and fund fire and emergency services in the Millsap fire protection area. 

• Voters in County Commissioner Precinct 3 have two options on the ballot to replace outgoing commissioner John Roth: Republican candidate Larry Walden and Democratic candidate Sandra Harrison. 

• Voters in Brock ISD have two contested races on the ballot. Place 7 incumbent Cody B. Lane is being challenged by former Brock Junior High School counselor Lewana Hensarling Phillips. Jay Brainard, Travis Faulkner and Charles Luke are all seeking to represent Place 5. 

• Voters in Parker County also have the opportunity to choose their Texas House District 61 representative. Green Party candidate Matthew Britt is challenging incumbent Republican Phil King. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.