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Low early voter turnout, County Elections Admin. predicts packed polls on Tuesday

By Whitney Burbank, WhitneyB@kvia.com
Published On: Jan 14 2014 07:26:19 PM CST

ABC-7 Whitney Burbank reports

EL PASO, Texas -

96,189 voters decided to cast their ballots between Oct. 22 and Friday, according to El Paso County Elections Office figures on Monday.  

While nearly 25 percent of El Paso’s 383,995 registered voters took advantage of the 18 stations and three mobile units available for early voting, the numbers lag behind 2008 statistics.  

County records show that in 2008, 114,765 people, or around 29.6 percent of El Paso’s 387,146 registered voters, participated in Early Voting between Oct. 20 and Oct. 31.

“The numbers are good, we're on average for a presidential election, but 2008 was a very different election and you can see the dynamics of that,” said county elections administrator Javier Chacon over the constant ringing that filled a basement office in the El Paso County Courthouse.

With less than 24 hours before the Tuesday Nov. 6 election, Chacon said he and the 14 permanent staffers within the county’s Elections Department have been spending a lot of time on the phone.

“The phones have not stopped ringing at all,” said Chacon. “It gives and indication of tomorrow, you know, people trying to find out where to vote.” 

Despite the dip in early voting numbers, Chacon said he expects El Pasoans will pack voting booths Tuesday.

Chacon points out, on Tuesday, voters have to stick the polling locations for their precinct. He said people who show up to polls outside their precinct and unregistered voters attempting to cast their ballots can contribute to congestion on Election Day.

“There are going to be long lines, especially in the late hours" said Chacon, but if you’re a registered voter at the right location, “as long as you arrive before the polls close, you can vote.”

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close 7 p.m. Tuesday.

For more information on voting click here

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