Galveston County Democrats and Republicans both voted in record numbers during early voting for this year’s primary election, according to vote totals from the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

A total of 21,592 people voted early in person or through absentee ballots this year. It is a 45 percent increase over early voting turnout in 2014 and a 97 percent from the 2010 primaries, when 10,942 people voted early.

Galveston County Democrats more than doubled their early turnout from 2014, sending 5,848 people to the polls early. During the last primary election, only 2,892 Democrats voted early.

Far more people voted in the Republican primary, with 15,744 casting ballots for GOP races. It was a 32 percent increase from 2014 primary election, when 11,953 people voted early, and a 130 percent increase from the 2010 primary elections.

This year’s primary election will decide a number of important local government positions, including who will be the next Galveston County judge and district attorney. No Democrats filed to run in those primaries, so none will compete in the November general election.

It’s possible that the number of early voters surpassed the number of people in the county that will go to the polls on Tuesday — given recent history in county voting behavior. During the 2014 primaries, 61 percent of the totals votes cast were cast early.

Early voting numbers were up across the state, as well. According to the Texas Tribune, more than 650,000 people voted early in the 10 counties with the most registered votes in the state.

In those counties, Democrats outvoted Republicans by 117,000 votes. in 2014, far more Republicans than Democrats voted early.

Early voting ended Friday. The last chance to cast a vote in the primary elections is Tuesday. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Voters from Galveston County can cast a ballot at any open polling place in the county, regardless of home address.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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