Early voting turnout: Republican votes triple in Cameron County compared to 2018 midterm elections

1 year 9 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, February 22 2022 Feb 22, 2022 February 22, 2022 10:42 AM February 22, 2022 in Election Coverage

Both Democrats and Republicans in Cameron County have had a higher voter turnout at this point in early voting compared to the midterm elections in 2018.

With one week of early voting down, there's one week left, and both parties are seeing more supporters going to vote. Cameron County Republicans have tripled their previous numbers. 

"There's significantly higher participation in this cycle — gubernatorial election in the primaries — than we've seen in the past," said Cameron County Elections Administrator Remi Garza.

Garza says a heated governor's race and house races could be making a difference. The new mail-in ballot rules may be driving more people to the polls, Garza added.

"The number of races that are actually being considered by both parties is an important part of that, and the number of candidates on these mid-year elections when we have the governor on the ballot,” Garza said.

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There’s more interest now, but not as record-setting as a presidential election year. So far in Cameron County, 7,476 Democrats and 2,944 Republicans have voted.

About 28 percent of those total ballots cast are from a Republican.

Over in Hidalgo County, a total of 22,159 early votes and mail-in ballots have been received over the past week: 17,586 are Democratic and 4,573 are Republican. About 20 percent of all those total ballots cast by a Republican.

"This primary, for the Republican party, we're seeing a significant increase compared to the previous elections," Garza said. “They have been seeing higher and higher rates during the primaries, but this number seems to be significantly larger."

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Comparing Cameron County during this 2022 midterm to the 2018 midterm, Garza says 888 Republicans voted in 2018 by this time back then. Now, 2,944 have voted already. That's more than triple.

For Cameron County Democrats, 4,500 voted by this time in 2018. This election, that number is 7,476, which is not quite double, but about 60 percent higher.

Channel 5 News also reached out to officials in Zapata County, a historically Democratic county just northwest of the Valley that turned red during Trump’s 2020 run. The county Republican chair says early voting totals are low, but expects the true impact to be seen on Election Day.

For early voting locations and other election resources, head to krgv.com/elections.

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