Local early voting for 2008 up from last presidential election

By Marilyn Tennissen | Nov 3, 2008

If early voting results are any indication, Jefferson County voters will be turning out in record numbers for Tuesday's general election.

According to data from the Jefferson County Clerk's office, more than 64,000 ballots were cast during early voting in Jefferson County, an increase of around 10,000 votes from the 2004 early voting period.

A total of 64,190 votes were cast, with 61,601 residents turning up to vote in person at one of the 11 polling locations during the 12-day early voting period that began Oct. 20 and ended Oct. 31. Early voting totals also include 2,589 mail-in ballots.

The majority of the votes were cast on the last day, with 7,648 ballots on Friday.

In 2004, the last presidential race, 54,164 votes were cast during the early voting period. While the overall voter turnout was higher this time, the 2004 period ended with a bang as 9,137 voters came out on the last day, Oct. 29, 2004. About 100 more citizens mailed in their ballots in 2008 than in 2004.

This year the busiest polling place was the R.C. Miller Library on Dowlen Road in Beaumont's West End, where a total of 12,823 votes were cast. Other busy locations in the county were the Nederland Recreation Center, 7,940 votes; the Johns Library in Beaumont, 7,754 votes; and the Jefferson County Courthouse in downtown Beaumont, 6,269 votes.

The Jefferson County Clerk's office has brought in extra poll workers and additional equipment for election day. The clerk's office will also be closed Tuesday so employees can focus efforts on the election.

A record number of early voters turned out in Orange County as well, where a total of 17,250 ballots were submitted in person or received through the mail for the 2008 early voting period. The previous record of 15,394 was set in 2004.

The Southeast Texas Record will be providing coverage throughout Election Day, with special emphasis on results in the race for three seats on the Texas Supreme Court.

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