Voter turnout high for July 31 run-off election

July 27, 2012 4:39:44 PM PDT
The Republican run-off race for U.S. Senate appears to be driving voter turnout this year. Early voting ended Friday, but many more Texans will still cast their ballots on the actual Election Day, next Tuesday.

This might have been expected, given the money and attention poured into and onto the race for the Republican Senate nomination. But regardless of the reason, Harris County voters are showing up in relatively big numbers for a run-off election.

This is not your typical primary run-off election.

"People are voting," Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart said.

In the middle of the summer heat, more Harris County voters are casting their ballots this time than in the last decade.

"I vote in every election because I think each one of them is important," Harris County voter Jim Groves said.

"I think it's important to have our voice heard, especially in the local elections," Harris County voter Molly Kudela said.

"They're turning out in Harris County. People want to be significant, and when there's a lower turnout then at your primary, your voice is actually greater," Stanart said.

Here are the numbers: Through Thursday, close to 70,000 voted in Harris County. The vast majority of them are Republicans. Clearly motivated by the knock-down, drag-out face off between Republicans Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst for the GOP Senate nomination.

"What encouraged me to come was the debate between Dewhurst and Cruz. I got really fired up. I had made my own opinion. I was there personally, and it really excited me," Harris County voter Andrea Brown said.

The numbers are trending similarly statewide, with Republicans making up most of the more than 250,000 who have voted early.

"There are important issues at stake and I want to vote. If I don't vote, I can't complain," Harris County voter Janice Sandberg said.

So unlike most primary run-offs, you'll find it already busy inside the election office in downtown Houston. A lot of work already for a staff happy to have so much do.

If you haven't voted yet, you'll have to wait until Tuesday and vote at your precinct.

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