Central Texas Early Voting Numbers Weak Ahead of Primary - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Central Texas Early Voting Numbers Weak Ahead of Primary

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There's just one week left to vote early in Texas primaries, and local election offices hope this week goes better than last.

Polling places are seeing low turnouts as politicians ramp up their "get out the vote" campaigns across the state.

Waco voter Elaine Chastain likes to hit the polls early, even if it gives her less time to make up her mind.

"I might have changed if I had waited until the last minute to vote," she said Monday, after she cast her ballot at the First Assembly of God church.

Chastain is in a small group of early voters this year.

"Usually our second week of early voting is our busy time," said Kathy Van Wolfe with the McLennan County elections office, "so we're hoping that those numbers pick up."

Through Sunday, just over 2,500 people voted in the county.

To compare, during the 2010 primary, more than 7,300 people voted over two weeks. And the 2012 presidential primary, more than 10,000 people voted early.

"I do it every year," said Davis Metz, another Waco voter. "First of all, I like to try to avoid the long lines."

In Bell County, just over 3,000 voters cast ballots through Sunday. That's only about 2 percent of registered voters in that county.

It may seem like there are a lot of signs in front of polling places, but there are actually fewer than usual. That's one of the things driving lower voter turnout: the lack of local contested races.

There are a lot of one-candidate categories this election; when there's a real race, politicians work to get out the vote.

Lieutenant governor candidate Todd Staples was in Waco Monday to do just that.

"Some have been busier than others, and obviously in the mornings is a little bit busier than lunchtime and afternoons," Staples said of his statewide voter drive.

Another reason for low turnout is a long ballot that makes it harder to decide.

The good news is there's still plenty of time to have your voice heard.

"Anytime is a good time," Chastain said. "When you're ready to make the decision."

Early voting ends Friday, and election day is next Tuesday, March 4. 

You can vote early at five places in McLennan County, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

 

  • McLennan County Elections Administration Office, 214 N. 4th St., Waco
  • First Assembly of God Church, 6701 Bosque Blvd., Waco
  • Waco Multi-Purpose Community Center, 1020 Elm St., Waco
  • Robinson City Hall, 111 W. Lyndale Ave., Robinson
  • Brazos Meadows Baptist Church, 625 S. Hewitt Dr., Hewitt

 

You can vote early at six places in Bell County, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Bell County Courthouse Annex, 550 E. 2nd Ave., Belton
  • Bell County Annex, 301 Priest Dr., Killeen
  • Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd., Killeen
  • Bell County Annex, 205 E. Central Ave., Temple
  • Salado Civic Center, 601 N. Main St., Salado
  • Parks & Recreation Center, 307 Millers Crossing, Harker Heights

If you vote early, you can go to any of these locations within your county to cast a ballot. If you wait until election day, you'll have to go to your specific precinct's polling place to vote.

Find your polling place in McLennan County here, and in Bell County here.

Keep in mind you do need an ID to cast your ballot.

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