Area democrats push early voting

Democrats push for early voting

WACO - Local democrats are hoping Texas might be up for grabs this year.

A rally Saturday in Waco is part of the party's strategy to turn Texas blue.

The state of Texas hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976.  But Hillary Clinton is gaining support in Texas.

Polling websites like Real Clear Politics consider the Lone Star State a toss-up.

"I've never been this energized by an election in my life," Mary Duty, McLennan County Democratic Party chair, said.  "And it's absolutely vital that we get this one right."

It's no secret Texas is traditionally a conservative state.

But right now, the polls in Texas are getting close.

The latest Tegna poll in Texas has Republican Donald Trump up by only four points, receiving only 47 percent of the vote.

Saturday, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Waco native who represents the Texas 30th Congressional District in the Dallas area, was back in Central Texas to encourage democrats to vote early and build momentum.

"I am here today because it is important that we spread the word," Johnson said.

Locally, the McLennan County Democratic Party has been heavily pushing early voting.  They believe long lines on election day are a turn-off to voters.

But if they can get people to vote in advance, they think overall voter turnout might increase and benefit democrats.

"If democrats will go ahead, get on up and go vote, we win," Duty said.  "When we have early voting, we get that voter who works a job 9-5 during the week and can't go vote.  Because so many people wait until the last minute, so many issues come up that keep someone from the polls."

The number of registered voters nationwide has increased to more than 200 million, up by 33 percent since 2012.

That, combined with the presidential poll numbers has William Matta, the democratic candidate for the House of Representatives in the Texas 17th Congressional District, hopeful.

"It can only help us, I think."


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