Early voter turnout increases in Tarrant

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 Early voter turnout in Tarrant County accounted for almost half of all registered voters in the county.

Despite an Associated Press report that early voter turnout in Texas had decreased from the 2008 presidential election, Tarrant County saw a 4 percent increase in turnout on the first day of early voting. About 500 more voters showed up in person than on the last day of the previous election.

According to the secretary of state’s office, there are 974,880 registered voters in Tarrant County. Though the Tarrant County election office would not return calls and could not be reached for comment, the county did provide turnout numbers on its website. With the Tarrant County Elections office reporting 387,338 voters showing up in person and a total of 32,178 returned mail-in votes, a total of 419,516 residents cast their ballots for the 2012 presidential election, close to half of all registered voters in Tarrant County.

The Associated Press stated that early voter turnout in Texas as a whole was down from the last election, claiming disinterest in both parties as the cause. However, Tarrant County voters have surpassed numbers from both the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections.

That does not seem to be the case with Sarah Danby, a Tarrant County resident and first-time voter. Danby said she chose to vote early because she was overwhelmed by the attention the world was giving to the election.

"I can’t go anywhere without hearing about the election now," Danby said. "You can’t avoid it now as much as you could before because it’s everywhere now and the issues are being thrown at you everywhere now, not just on TV news. I see it on every website, every social media place, even at 7-11."

The county now prepares itself for the remaining 555,364 registered Tarrant county voters for Election Day on Tuesday.

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