Rural counties seeing high early voter turnout

Early voting up in rural counties

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Early voting for the general election is underway and many voters continue to head out to make sure their voice is heard. Smaller counties across Texoma are seeing a record number of early voters.

In both Archer and Clay county, nearly 30% of registered voters have already voted.

“I’ve opened three additional branch locations for this election,” Val McClain, the Clay County Elections Administrator, said.

Many at the polls are voting for the first time.

“I’ve had a lot of voters that are first time voters that are my age and older that have come out for the very first time to vote in this election. It’s that important to them,” McClain said.

Christie Mooney, the Archer County Election Administrator, believes this is the highest early voting turnout she’s ever seen.

“I think voters realize that their vote counts and it matters and people feel very passionate about their candidates and they’re getting out of their house and they’re voting,” Mooney said.

The election officials say they haven’t seen larger increases of mail-in ballot requests in their counties. Unlike more populated areas, long lines at the polls is also not something you’ll find there.

“Probably the longest wait times have been a couple of minutes, so that’s once again the advantage of a small county,” McClain said.

McClain adds that in the 2016 election about 60% of voters participated, they hope to top that in early voting alone. “I’m hoping at least 75 [percent] if not better turnout for this election, which I believe would be historical,” McClain said.

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