Some voted because of health care. Others voted because of Brett Kavanaugh or Ted Cruz or Beto O’Rourke. Still others voted because their friends and family urged them to the polls — whether they were informed about the issues or not.

Tuesday’s midterm election drew more than 23,000 Galveston County voters, adding to the more than 82,000 people who voted during the two-week early voting period leading up to the election, for a total turnout of about 105,000.

That was up more than 40,000 voters over the 2014 midterms, when just short of 65,000 people voted in the county.

Galveston County’s 35 Election Day polling locations seemed consistently busy, but not overwhelmed on Tuesday.

Waits of more than an hour were reported at the polling stations at Galveston’s Moody Methodist Church, at League City’s Creekside Intermediate School and Dickinson’s community center on Tuesday afternoon and evening. The lines were so long that in some parts of the county, voting continued well past 8 p.m.

In other places, including Galveston’s downtown courthouse, voters said they got in and out with relative ease.

The reasons people gave for voting were diverse.

“Mostly health stuff,” said Galveston resident Heather Saracco, who was voting with her daughter, Michaela, 19.

“I’m older now. This is the first time I’ve ever voted. I’m almost 50. I just started to notice more since all this stuff with Donald Trump. It makes you want to be more involved, I guess.”

Both of the Saraccos were voting for the first time, they said.

Others, like Tina Mathers, said they don’t usually vote in midterm elections, but were motivated by recent news events, like the controversy over the appointment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“With the occurrences that happened with Kavanaugh, I really felt it was important to get my voice out,” Mathers said. “I think it’s real important that we take politics seriously, and it’s not a bullying situation.”

She said she thought Democrats tried to use sexual assault claims against Kavanaugh to politically manipulate his appointment, which frustrated her.

Other voters said there were no specific news events on their minds, but that they had been urged by friends and family members to vote anyway.

“I really just don’t keep up with stuff,” Brooke Lowery, 25, said. “I don’t even have cable so I have no idea what’s going on. She’s a registered voter though, and decided to cast a ballot after a conversation with a friend.

“My friend was really into it, so she kind of filled me in on everything,” Lowery said.

“It’s definitely a group year,” said Megan Ivason, 20, who voted with Lowery. “I feel like everybody I know was saying ‘I have a sticker.’”

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


Senior Reporter

(16) comments

Randy Chapman

'“I really just don’t keep up with stuff,” Brooke Lowery, 25, said. “I don’t even have cable so I have no idea what’s going on. She’s a registered voter though, and decided to cast a ballot after a conversation with a friend.'

Wow, just wow. Essentially, she has no idea why she voted, or why she cast a vote for anyone. I think this has become a new normal for many.

Randy Chapman

I am a firm believer that in order to get the right to vote, you must pass a test. Nothing major, but to affirm that you know the houses of government and how they work with each other, and that you understand the Bill of Rights. Not too much to ask if you are going to cast a vote.

Gary Scoggin

No more less informed than someone who votes straight ticket either way without looking at the individual candidates.

Carlos Ponce

I voted straight ticket but vetted each candidate during the primaries. Don't wait until the last minute to do your homework. Some are easily fooled by "October Surprises".

Gary Scoggin

Did you vet the Democratic candidates, too, or just the Republican ones? In other words, did you consider the possibility that in any particular race there was a Democratic candidate that was more qualified than a Republican one.

Carlos Ponce

I vetted ALL candidates searching for a possible candidate I could support but found none on the Democrat list. The last one was County Judge Ray Holbrook.

Gary Scoggin

Good for you. It's a shame when people don't consider all their alternatives before voting. I did the same thing but ended up splitting my ticket. But at least we were both deliberative about who we voted for.

George Croix

The devil is in the details of what 'qualified' means, as, essentially, it boils down to results AFTER they get elected, so it's crystal ball gazing in great part.
Donald J. Trump, political neophyte, was and is better qualified to improve business and jobs in this country than the former community organizer 'experienced' politician with a 90% voting record of 'present' and dreams of government control.
Education level?
Lots of educated people have little or no sense.
Previous experience?
A LOT of people have years of experience, a month or a week at a time....experience should count for what you accomplished or, well, experienced, not just what a certificate says you should be able to do if ever given the opportunity....
Good looks?
Another reason I never got into politics......
Well, that seems to be paramount for many, but placing popularity over productivity is a good way to blow things up.....repeatedly....another reason why only adults should be able to vote.
Best plan?
No plan survives first contact with the realities of the situation....and is essentially like the fine print on those fast talking TV commercials. Without a realistic thought process, you end up getting a prize for what you 'might accomplish'....but that's the end of it.

So, it usually boils down to who will be another vote in the total needed to get backing for what the voter hopes will be done and the direction the voter hopes will be taken.

Aaaand, here we are...full circle.....

Times have sure changed...

Gary Miller

The most qualified candidate is often the least acceptable. A highly qualified socialist is never acceptable to a conservative.

Carlos Ponce

"A highly qualified socialist is never acceptable to a conservative." Yes, I won't vote for someone who is out of touch with reality. Socialism is not good.

Gary Scoggin

The opposite of a socialist is a capitalist, not a conservative. There are conservative capitalists and liberal capitalists.

Carlos Ponce

The only capitalism a Liberal follows is crony capitalism.

Gary Scoggin

Crony capitalism happens on both sides. Partisans on both sides make it worse by either overregulating or underregulating the marketplace.

George Croix

Good to see higher participation by those who exercised their right to cast a legal election ballot....the only real power Joe and Jane Blow have to effect things...
I'd obviously have liked to have seen quite a bit higher participation for the ones I wanted to win, but that's life....:
Some you win
Some you lose
And today it's a rain out..........

Jose' Boix

I just learned we have: “Republicans and Democrats,” “Highly qualified Socialists and Conservatives,” “Conservative Capitalists and Liberal Capitalists,” and then there is “Crony Capitalism” and finally “The opposite of a Socialist is a Capitalist.”

I find it amusing that we feel compelled to develop and establish such host of political ideological compartments. Somehow it reminds me of the military strategy of “Divide and Conquer: To make a group of people disagree and fight with one another so that they will not join together against one.” Just my thoughts.

Gary Scoggin

Jose, actually there are only two groups: Those that agree with me, and those that are wrong. 😁😁😁

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