Registered Voters Take Advantage Of Early Voting In Travis County

by Dane Smith - Date: 2008-11-08 - Word Count: 529 Share This!

Early voting began on Monday, October 20th and ran until Friday, October 31st. Travis County alone is expected to see nearly 450,000 people take advantage of casting their ballot early.

In the last presidential election, about 62% of registered voters in Travis County voted early. At the time this was a near record turnout since early voting began in Travis County in 1988. The expectation is that this years numbers will be much higher than 2004. Why? The primary had a 51% turnout which was well above the average of 35% that we tend to see for primaries and gubernatorial elections. While election officials are excited to see such a turnout they are putting in long hours to deal with the flood of early voters. While official numbers will not be released for a little why early evidence points to pretty high numbers of early voters. The question remains whether more people are simply choosing to vote early instead of waiting until election day or the high number of early voters is simply an indication of a general increase in turnout.

Why do so many people vote early? For one thing, Iit eliminates having to wait in line on Election Day, when lines are sure to be long, especially in a heated race as this one. Voters are allowed to vote outside of their precinct, which makes voting much more convenient. Also by voting early if there are any problems with identification or problems with your registration you have a chance to fix these problems before the election.

The north early voting location, which is located at 5501 Airport Blvd. is a "Mega" voting center. Travis County allocated $150,000 this year for the Mega voting centers to deal with increased demand. They have up to 50 voting machines and four check-in stations. The south location at 4534 Westgate Blvd. will start with 35 and expand to 50. They also have four check-in stations. These Mega voting centers are a good idea but they will probably be underutilized during this election due to lack of awareness. But election officials expect to see increased turnout in these locations in future elections.

There are several other places to vote early in Travis County. Many H-E-B and Randall's grocery stores have early voting stations. Travis County also makes it easy for senior citizens to cast their ballot. There are nearly 50 mobile early voting sites that allow nursing homes, senior assisted living residents and the employees and families cast their ballot without having the hassle to locate an early voting site.

Early voting began during the presidential election in 1988 and has taken off since then. Early voters are allowed to vote at any early voting location within their county. Voters can vote with a voters registration card, driver's license or any official photo ID, birth certificate, United States citizenship papers, passport or any recent utility bill or bank statement that shows the name and address of the voter. And for voters that do not take advantage of early voting can at least reap the benefits of a shorter lines on election day compared to what they would have been like without early voting.

Related Tags: politics, election, texas, republican, democrat, obama, austin, 2008, mccain, early voting, travis county

Ki works as a real estate agent in central Texas. His website has information about Round Rock real estate and Cedar Park real estate. The website also has a free mortgage calculator.

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