North Texans head to the polls early in record numbers

Early voting has ended in Texas and elections officials across the state expect turnout numbers will break records.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. on Friday. There were still people in line who were able to vote even within the last hour.

More than 300,000 people voted early in Collin County, a four percent increase from 2008. Dallas County early voting numbers show about 514,330 people already cast their ballots, an increase from 477,228 in 2008. Tarrant County saw a little more than 515,200 people vote early.

Nikita Perkins was one of the voters who cast her ballot just in time.

“Got in right before the polls closed,” she said. “It's a busy Friday – work and everything, but we were able to make it. “

A steady stream of voters filed in and out of Carpenter Park Recreation Center in Plano, where workers were prepared for a last-minute rush.

K.C. Bethel voted for the first time since becoming a naturalized citizen and was in and out in minutes.

“We have a chance of a first female president, and we also have a chance at the first billionaire or businessman running for office,” the early voter said. “So I wanted to be a part of history.”

Bruce Sherbet, the Elections Administrator in Collin County, says turnout in early voting even before the polls closed Friday surpassed records from the 2008 presidential race when 52 percent of Collin County voters cast ballots early.

“The difference is this time, it started out high, and it's continued all the way through,” he explained. “And I see that in other counties too. It's not just our county.”

With North Texas' largest number of registered voters, Dallas County expected well over half would vote by the end of early voting, days before the actual election.

“It's going to be very interesting. It'll be one of two things: we'll either continue with the high turnout on Election Day and just shatter every record or possibly Election Day will slow down just a little bit,” Sherbet explained. But no matter what happens, we will break records in this county across the board.”

Elections officials still plan to see a high voter turnout on Election Day. Polls will be open between 7 7.p.m. Early mornings and late evening tend to be the busiest times.

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