Early voting for the 2018 Texas Primaries began Tuesday, but the rain did not affect voter turnout -- which was actually on track to be higher than in previous years.

McLennan and Bell County reported strong numbers on the first day of early voting compared to 2016. Channel 6 reached out to the election administrators for both counties, and they said turnout was very steady Tuesday.

“It has been steady today even with the rain,” McLennan County Elections Administrator Kathy Wolfe said. “2017 was such a low turnout year that 2018 will seem busier in comparison.”

Bell County Elections Administrator Melinda Luedecke echoed the same.

“We have had a steady stream of people voting today (even with the rain!),” Luedecke said. “I always hope that voters will come out and that the turnout will be higher, but it is so hard to predict.”

In Bell County’s November 2017 general election, a total of 1,760 early voters cast their ballots. For comparison, 1,670 voters voted in just the first day of 2018 primary voting on Tuesday.

The increased early voting trend was similar in McLennan County. A total of 4,302 early voters cast their ballots in McLennan County’s May 6, 2017, joint general election and 5,266 early and ballot-by-mail voters cast votes in the November 7, 2017, joint general election. But, just on day one of early voting in the 2018 primary, McLennan County received 1,869 early votes -- well on its way to topping previous years when all the ballots have been cast.

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