Early voting started Monday at a brisk pace in Denton County, with numbers exceeding the 2016 presidential election, a rarity for a midterm election, and a possible indicator of voter enthusiasm.
Voters posted on Facebook about long lines at early voting locations across the county. The wait time at Lewisville Municipal Annex ranged from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours on the first day of early voting. Lines spilled out of the community room, snaking through the lobby. Voters also reported long wait times in Flower Mound.
Denton County Elections reported that 19,045 voters took advantage of early voting today. That number exceeds 2016, a presidential election, year by 12 percent. On the first day of early voting, 2016, Denton County had 16,955 early voters.
These numbers only include in-person votes. Mail-in totals mirrored the increase.
In 2016, there were 5,030 mail-in ballots received on the first day of early voting. Monday, there were 5,650, a 12 percent increase.
Early voting continues through Nov. 2. Lines tend to get shorter as the early voting period progresses.
Update – 10/24, 7:50 a.m.:
The second day of early voting was even stronger in Denton County with 19,617 votes cast in person, 572 more than the first day, making for a total of 38,662 so far. There have been 7,081 mail-in ballots returned so far.
In 2014, the last midterm election, there were 145,032 ballots cast, a voter turnout of 35.43%. In 2014, over 75,000 ballots were cast in early voting.