El Paso early voting numbers down despite tight races

El Paso early voting numbers down despite tight races

POSTED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 12:33am

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 3:47pm

El Paso early voting numbers have been released ahead of Tuesday's primary election and despite a handful of highly competitive races, the numbers are down when compared to previous election cycles.

According to the El Paso County Elections Department, 17,370 El Pasoans cast their ballots early in the Democratic primary, while 5,259 voted early for Republican candidates.

The combined total of 22,629 votes comprises roughly 6% of El Paso county's 390,875 registered voters.

Those figures are down from the 32,986 total ballots cast early in the 2012 primary, and the 26,275 early votes in the 2010 primary.

El Paso County Elections Administrator Javier Chacon pointed out that 2012 was a presidential election year, while 2010 saw a governor's race in Texas.

When asked why early voting declined this year despite a slate of tight races like the county judge faceoff between incumbent Veronica Escobar, businesswoman Aliana Apodaca, and City Rep. Eddie Holguin, Chacon said he believed some voters may be saving their attention (and votes) for any likely runoff elections.

"A lot of people see that candidates and say, 'Oh, I'll just wait for the runoff,'" Chacon told NewsChannel 9 on Monday.

"We tell them to go ahead and vote," he added.  "One vote could mean a lot to a lot of these candidates."

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday for the primary election.

Chacon reminds all El Pasoans to bring their voter I.D.'s when they go to cast their ballot.

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