Thousands more Texas voters have participated in the first day of early voting for the 2018 midterm elections on Monday than they did in the 2014 contest.
In Dallas County, 55,384 in-person and mail-in votes were cast on Monday — a 26,000-vote increase from those cast on the first day in the same county in 2014, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Likewise, more than 24,000 people voted in person in Bexar County as of 4 p.m. on Monday, an increase from the 13,436 people who voted on the first day of early voting in 2014, according to the San Antonio Express News.
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Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke’s home county, El Paso County, also saw a record number of early votes cast, the Texas Tribune reports. Melissa Rosales, the El Paso County’s elections information and resource coordinator, said that a record 17,131 votes were cast as of 7 p.m. Monday evening.
“We were expecting it,” Rosales said, according to the Texas Tribune. “By 9 a.m., we already had a really good turnout, and we were already getting calls of lines of voters. We are hoping we get the same traffic [throughout early voting.] We have the equipment and the pool to be prepared for the number of voters we’re going to see.”
O’Rourke, currently a U.S. representative from Texas, is challenging incumbent and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in the midterm elections.
The Texas secretary of state’s website claims that there are approximately 15.8 million residents of Texas who are registered to vote this year. A total of 37 states and the District of Columbia permit early voting. The midterm elections will be held on Nov. 6.