North Texas Daily

Record turnout of early voters continues in first three days

Record turnout of early voters continues in first three days

Record turnout of early voters continues in first three days
October 24
18:52 2018

The Denton County Elections Office reported that 57,128 voters have turned out to the polls since early voting opened on Monday, up 251.58 percent from the first three days of early voting for the 2014 midterms, which saw 16,249 votes cast. As of Wednesday, 11.3 percent of Denton County’s 505,374 registered voters have cast their ballot.

Monday saw a total of 19,045 votes cast, nearly four times the turnout polls saw on the first day of voting in 2014, which was 5,372. Tuesday’s voter turnout presented an increase of 572 voters, with 19,617 total citizens casting their ballots, while Wednesday’s turnout exhibited a slight decline with 18,466 ballots cast. The number is an increase over 2014’s 5,266 ballots cast on day three.

Comparatively, the turnout on the first day of voting for 2016’s presidential election was 16,963, down 8.86 percent from this year.

The 2018 election cycle is a midterm, meaning it occurs halfway through the terms of some higher-profile positions, such as the presidency. In the 2016 presidential election, 296,968 of the 464,790 Denton County registered voters made it to the polls. The turnout rate was 63.89 percent, with an early voting rate of 48.21 percent, according to the Texas Secretary of State website.

As Monday’s voting came to a close, political science senior Audree Hall said her name was not found on the voter registry and that the polls stayed open two hours past closing time and made an effort to ensure she could vote when complications arose.

“They couldn’t find my name on there, so one of the volunteers spent 15 minutes and even called the elections office until they found me,” Hall said.

Hall said the line for voting was “wrapped around the building” at 5 p.m. Monday. The high number of evening voters caused administrators to allow those still in line at polling close to still cast their ballots that night rather than return the following day.

On UNT’s main campus, there is an estimated 38,000 students who attend in some form. Many of these students come from places outside of Denton County, requiring them to take some form of action in order to vote. This can include filling out an absentee ballot or traveling to their home counties to vote where they are registered.

Melissa McGuire, assistant vice president for student affairs, said UNT was previously an early voting location in fall 2016. McGuire said the Denton County Elections Office cited complaints about parking availability on the campus as one of the main issues for UNT being a polling location.

“We often have to address those issues on an annual basis,” McGuire said. “We did reach out this year. The contact that we have from the election board has been pretty communicative.”

McGuire said she and other UNT officials plan to meet with the elections office to address the issues that keep UNT from being a polling place. McGuire said she wants to include UNT Parking and the Student Government Association in this meeting.

Although there are no early voting polling places on campus this year, there are resources available for students seeking transportation to cast their vote. A ride-share program exists through and offers rides to Denton County polling places to registered voters who request a ride.

Criminal justice sophomore Dylan Boren will vote for the first time this year.

“I am very excited about getting to vote now and in the future,” Boren said. “I want to vote so I can weigh in on potential candidates for the presidency [in the future].”

Early voting is open through Nov. 2. The Wesley Foundation on campus will be a polling location on Election Day, Nov. 6 for registered voters in precincts 4045 and 4004, or those who live in dorms on campus. For further information regarding polling places and other questions, visit

Featured Image: Denton County residents wait in line at the Denton Civic Center for early voting. Adriance Rhoades

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Ally Zarate

Ally Zarate

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