Early voting in Tuesday’s state constitutional amendment election closed out Friday with 678 ballots having been cast in Brown County.
While that might seem to be an indication of a light voter turnout, Brown County’s participation may be relatively strong compared to larger counties nearby.
David Carroll, a member of the Brown County Elections Administrator staff, said Saturday that a report from at least one county with three or four times as many registered voters as Brown County showed a similar number of early ballots.
Still, with more than 24,000 registered in Brown County, twice that number will have to show up at the polls Tuesday to beat Texas Secretary of State Phil Wilson’s turnout forecast.
Wilson said fewer than one in 10 registered voters will probably vote — 9.5 percent.
“Participation throughout early voting has been much lower than I would like to see,” Wilson said. “This election is important, and I encourage Texans to head to the polls and prove me wrong.”
Wilson said he examined a variety of factors when projecting this year’s turnout, including prior levels of voter turnout, voter registration numbers and early voting trends to date. Throughout early voting, the Secretary of State’s office tracks turnout from the state’s 15 most populous counties which account for more than 60 percent of all registered voters in Texas.
Wilson has been traveling the state in recent weeks — including a stop in Brownwood — to meet with local officials and citizens to discuss the importance of voter participation.
“Each and every election in Texas is important,” Wilson said. “From national presidential races to local bond elections, as Americans, it is our duty to protect the democratic processes of our state and our nation and exercise our right to vote.”
The early voting total could climb some, Carroll said, as more mailed ballots come in. At the close of the early voting period Friday, 641 people had cast ballots in person while 37 mail ballots had been received.
“We had a big day Friday,” Carroll said. “The election judges were busy most of the day.”
See Page 8A today for a related story and a list of the 16 proposed amendments.
Here are the voting locations for Brown County in Tuesday’s elections:
Precinct 101, 105, 113 — Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Rd., Brownwood
Precinct 109 — Brookesmith High School, FM 586, Brookesmith
Precinct 202, 204 — City Coliseum Annex, 110 S. Greenleaf, Brownwood
Precinct 212 — May School, 100 Comanche, May
Precinct 214, 215 — Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Holder
Precinct 303 — East Elementary, 2700 Vincent St.,Brownwood
Precinct 306, 316, 318 — Early Lions Club, Highway 84, Early
Precinct 307 — Blanket Lions Club, 718 Main St., Blanket
Precinct 308 — Zephyr Community Center, Highway 84, Zephyr
Precinct 410 — Bangs Community Center, 406 Spencer, Bangs
Precinct 411 — Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, 1806 Coggin Ave., Brownwood
Precinct 417 — 4-H Center, FM 3021, Brownwood