POSTED: Monday, October 22, 2012 - 9:24pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 22, 2012 - 9:28pm
EL PASO — Early voting started in Texas on Monday. A UTEP professor said it's important for people to vote and it doesn't matter when you do.
People around the world watched as presidential candidates President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney battled it out in the third and final debate before election day.
UTEP Political Science Professor Gregory Rocha said the debate was crucial for both candidates.
"This election is so razor thin between the two of them and it's stunning to see the gap that Mr. Romney was able to make up as a result of the first debate and I think the speculation is that this race is going to go right down the wire here on in and so this debate has its importance," said Rocha.
The debate comes on the same day the polls opened for early voting in Texas.
Rocha said more than 60 percent of people who voted in the 2008 presidential election were early voters.
"But in the presidential election, the younger voters turn out in a greater percentage than they do during the non presidential. That explains in part why we see the bump up in the numbers of vote overall and especially early," said Rocha.
Thousands of Texans headed to the polls, many of them here in El Paso where there was a strong turnout.
"Everybody needs to come out and vote early. That way you won't have a big line at the end of the voting date. So today is the best day, the best time," said early voter Francisco Adame.
"To me, if I wait the longest time, to vote on November 6, I don't think I'll get there. I just like to vote early, to get my vote inside," said early voter Mary Ann Eudave.
Rocha said it's important for people to vote, whether early or on election day.
"I think it's important for people regardless of when they do," said Rocha.
Early voting goes until November 2 and election day is November 6.