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Record turnout in Hays County for early voting

With the grind toward the March 6 primary raging on, Hays County residents are going to the polls in unprecedented numbers.

As of Feb. 26, 4,658 early votes have been accounted for at seven different locations spread across the county. This does not account for the nearly 2,000 votes submitted to the county by mail.

In total, around 6,600 have been counted for, shattering the numbers from previous election cycles in 2014 and 2016.

According to Hays County numbers, roughly 4,500 people voted early in the November Presidential 2016 election, while only 1,768 early votes were counted in November 2014 race. 

“We’ve had a very high turnout considering the political season we are in,” said Jennifer Anderson, elections administrator for Hays County. “Democratic turnout has been good and that is to be expected considering the national swing we had with the Presidential election.”

The Wimberley Community Center has seen the most traffic in the county for early voting with 1,179 total ballots submitted.

According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2016, Wimberley’s population was just shy of 3000 residents. Statistically, about half of the town showed up to vote in the past week.

“Wimberley has always had a strong community of voters – they’re always consistent,” Anderson said. “In additional to all of the local elections, a lot of Wimberley public officials are seeking re-election, getting the community more involved.”

The LBJ Student Center at Texas State University is a hub for professors, locals and students to take to the polls, Anderson said. This particular location ranks as one of the highest in turnout for a mobile voting location.

However, voting numbers at the student center are low and students are not as likely to be politically involved following the national election, Anderson said.

So far, roughly 53 percent of the early voting population voted in the Republican Primary, while 46 percent of the early votes took part in the Democratic Primary.

With a total of 122,004 registered voters in the county, Anderson said there is still time to vote before the early voting polls close March 2.

Once early voting is over and the general election starts on March 6, voters will have to vote at there specific polling location based on address of residency, she said.

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