EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Thousands of El Pasoans are continuing the high turnout at poll sites across the county, and say they hope it continues throughout the rest of early voting.
On Wednesday, you could see more long lines and some even wrapping around the corner of polling sites which has been the case at various locations around town within the first couple of days of early voting.
“This is the first time I’ve ever voted. I’m 19 years old and even as a kid I was always surprised on the little amount of people that vote,” Zachary Chanoi said.
El Paso voters like Chanoi say they’re motivated to make a difference, all by practicing their right to vote,” When I saw early on people registering to vote and early voting numbers, I mean that encouraged me to just get out and vote because obviously people are upset no matter on what side and they want change. This is the way to do it.”
“My husband is a purple heart veteran so it’s special to us to be able to do this kind of thing. I’m an immigrant, so it’s even double special. I think it’s never too early to start showing them what their responsibility as an American citizen is,” Karla Vasquez said.
The El Paso County Elections Department reported over 19,000 in person voters, and about 15,000 mail-in ballots on the first day of early voting which broke a record. In 2016, the county reported over 19,000 total on the first day.
“You’re seeing that in places like El Paso County where rather than risk a mail-in ballot or rather the risking the ballot not getting counted. You have folks coming out in force to actually cast a physical ballot,” Dr. Richard Pineda, political expert and communication professor at UTEP said.
With curbside express voting and COVID-19 safety measures in place, staff with the local elections department said they’re hoping for a consistent trend of voter turnout.
“We’ve processed over 10,000 voters already today and so we’re actually on pace to where we were yesterday. The lines are going faster, we’re having a lot less calls of people maybe not knowing where to go or not be familiar with the new system,” Lisa Wise, El Paso County Elections Administrator said.
“As a country this is our time. For us to really, whatever side you’re on, to make that your civic duty and really just take that responsibility and vote,” Vasquez added.
The county elections department is reminding voters to plan ahead by reviewing the sample ballot before hitting the polls.
The last day of early voting is October 30, and the last day to request a mail-in ballot is Oct. 23.
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