San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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March 3rd, 2008
Poll watchers expect record turnout


The faceoff between senators Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama and local races are bringing a record number of voters to the polls. Democrats in particular turned out nearly eight times as many voters in their primary as they did in 2004.

The early voting totals for Hays County are more than twice the total of votes cast in the 2004 and 2006 primaries combined. After the close of the early voting polls on Friday, 2,748 Republicans and 8,437 Democrats have cast their votes compared to 924 Democrats and 1,120 Republicans in 2004, the last presidential election.

“With the turnout we have seen for early voting, we are expecting a record turnout on election day,” Hays County Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan said. “If you can come during the day, the earlier the better.”

There will be 19 polling sites for each party, and each site will have 5 or 6 voting booths. Cowan said lines begin to form around 5 p.m. as people start to get off of work. She said the polls are prepared to stay open until everyone standing in line by 7 p.m. has the opportunity to vote.

The close of polls are followed by the Democratic precinct caucuses.

“Everyone thinks it starts at 7:15, but the reality is the precinct convention starts after every primary vote is cast and the polls are closed,” Cowan said, “If it takes until 9 p.m. for everyone in line to vote, the convention starts at 9:15.”
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